I worked for a small company for ~2 years. During that time, I made myself invaluable, etc. However, I eventually received an offer from another company that I decided to take. As a gesture of goodwill, when I put in my two weeks' notice at my old job, I offered to stay on doing contract work for them for as long as necessary.
I signed a contract where they agreed to pay me a certain rate (less than they would have paid any other contractor for the work I was doing). It was signed by both me and the CEO of the company.
One week after I started my new job, I worked x contracting hours. Week 2, I worked x hours again. They paid me for the 2 days of the month that I was still working for them at my previous salaried rate. However, they did not pay me for my contracting hours.
I sent an email at the end of the second week to do follow up. It was forwarded to the controller/accountant, who never responded. I emailed again, copying the controller, the supervisor, and the guy generally in charge of contractors with the same question, and never got a response. It's been another 2 weeks, and the normal pay date has come and gone without payment.
This is a fairly consequential amount of money. At this point, I do not intend to do any further work for them.
(Note: They've been taken to court for not paying contractors in the past, more than once.)
What is the best way to convince them to pay? I'd rather avoid any small claims court or anything.
What I've decided to do:
I'm going to create a formal paper invoice, email it to the controller, the guy in charge of contractors, the direct supervisor I was reporting to, and the CEO (who has his fingers in everyone's pot, which is part of the reason I left).
I'll be sending it to them from my personal email address instead of their company one. I'll also be sure to save any emails with regards to this somewhere besides on their computer to ensure I have any necessary evidence.
In addition, I'm going to print the invoice in a hard copy, with documentation of the hours that I worked, as well as a copy of the contract with the part where they promised to pay me highlighted (or is that too passive aggressive?). I'll also send them the times where I requested clarification on when I would be paid.