• Advocacy, Finance

Unpaid wages: How to collect

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Freelancers, by the gig-to-gig nature of their work have episodic incomes. This is exacerbated by the fact that many also have difficulty collecting their wages due. This is a pervasive issue we’ve seen in our membership, and Freelancers Union Executive Director Sara Horowitz spoke to this point in an article in today’s Wall Street Journal. In “Freelancers’ Guide to Getting Paid—on Time”, Sara mentioned how 77% of our surveyed members have had difficulty at some point in their freelancer careers collecting their owed wages.

Gary Swart, head of oDesk, provides a few pointers on helping you collect:

  • Get over the embarrassment
  • Deal directly with payroll
  • Withhold work, if you can
  • Offer the company some flexibility
  • Consider adding late fees to your contract, or a prepayment clause
  • Consider working with freelance-liaison firms
  • Sue the company in small claims court

While not all of these will be appropriate to your individual position, you may be able to find some helpful tips in the article, nonetheless. Do you have other pointers to share?