I am a independent software contractor for a company and have signed a contract stating I must work x number of hours a month from January 1st until July 31st. In the beginning of July, the company told me to suspend all work until further notice and has yet to give me anything to do. I would love to do some work so I can paid, but it is out of my control. Is there anything I can do? Is the company obligated to give me work/compensation?
closed as off-topic by AndreiROM, Justin Cave, gnat, Chris E, IDrinkandIKnowThings Jul 18 '16 at 16:49
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – AndreiROM, Justin Cave, gnat, Chris E, IDrinkandIKnowThings
First step is to read your contract.
The usual way is that you agree to work for them at a certain rate, starting at a certain date, and with a suggested end date, and both sides can quit when they like.
Apparently you signed a contract obliging you to work a certain number of hours per month. Meaning you can't just quit if you have a better offer. If they haven't signed anything that forces them to give you work, then what they are doing is completely legit. If that's the case, then you signed a bad contract.
If you don't get a lawyer, they are not going to pay you. If you get a lawyer, he may tell you that according to the contract (a) they don't need to pay you; (b) it is obviously clear that they have to pay you, or (c) that this is unclear and taking them to court could be really expensive. A lawyer will also tell you if there are any traps in your contract that you need to be aware of.
PS. I assume that if you signed to deliver X hours work per month, and they have no obligation to give you X hours worth of jobs, and they don't give you any jobs, then you delivering zero hours wouldn't mean you are in breach of your contract.
Can the company not give you work?
Can you throw in the contract because you're making nothing out of it?
Can you force them to give you work?
Are there legal ramifications to throwing the contract in the bin and going and making money elsewhere?
Maybe, it depends on the contract, in theory anyway.
Personally if I'm not making money then the contract is worthless to me, I'm not going to pay a lawyer to find that out, they can pay for a lawyer (which to date has only happened to me once, and I laughed in his face and threw his letter in the bin unread and never heard from him again).
As an independent contractor you're shooting yourself in the foot if you allow others to dictate to you, contracts are contracts, as long as they work for you, all good, otherwise it's part of the risks you take working for yourself. You weigh up the pro's and cons and then move forwards with what advances your interests in the long run.
The first thing you need to do is talk to who ever is your point of contact and tell them that it's not working out for you, then you have the information you'll need to move forwards.