Many individuals, particularly those in Los Angeles, have taken the gig economy by storm. The number of people relying on freelance work has grown in recent years, and while it can be convenient, it can also present some legal challenges.
As a freelancer, you may encounter a client who refuses to pay you after you have already done the work. It can be difficult to recover those funds, and you cannot get the time back you spent on the project. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this or to get your money after the fact.
Always have a signed written contract
Any time you have a client interested in your work, you should lay out a firm contract clearly stating what your responsibilities are and how much the client will pay you. In the event you need to take a breach of contract case to court, a signed contract will help tremendously. If you are unsure what to include in this contract, then you can speak with an employment attorney to learn what language is necessary.
Send a cease-and-desist letter
When a client has broken this contract, you will need to go back to that employment attorney to have him or her draft a cease-and-desist letter. You can certainly send one you have written yourself, but sending a letter from an attorney is more likely to tell the client you mean business. In some instances, sending this letter is all you need to do to get the client to pay.
Avoid public airings
As you wait for the cease-and-desist letter to work, you should avoid airing grievances against a client on social media. You may feel justified in saying how disappointed you are in the client, but future clients may look through your social media profiles before hiring you. If they see you have no problem speaking negatively of other clients, then they may be reluctant to hire you.