What to do if you’re not paid on time

After you agree on the scope of a project, sign a contract and complete the work, you have a fair expectation to be paid based on the terms of the agreement. Sadly, this is not always the case. In many cases, the people who hired you to complete a job don’t prioritize your payment.

No matter what excuses an owner, developer or manager uses, you have the right to compensation for your work. And regardless of whether you are based in New York or New Jersey, the law protects you.

Prompt payment in both states

The Prompt Payments Act of New York specifically states “it is the policy and purpose of this article to expedite payment of all monies owed to those who perform contracting services pursuant to construction contracts.” The state also mandates the time for payments under the General Municipal Law and the State Finance Law.

The same law in New Jersey states that “if a prime contractor has performed in accordance with the provisions of a contract with the owner and the billing for the work has been approved and certified by the owner or the owner’s authorized approving agent,” the owner must pay what is due to you.

Both laws outline a specific period for payment after the invoice or billing date, as well as terms for interest for late payments. In some cases, you can also collect attorney fees when seeking your owed payment.

You don’t deserve to sit around waiting for someone to pay you when you held up your end of the deal by completing the work as specified by your agreement. There is no reason your life and livelihood should be held up by someone else’s inability to keep their promise. 

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Stephen Bialkowski

Stephen Bialkowski, Esq. is a member of the firm and a Litigator and Transactional Attorney practicing in the areas of construction, real estate, real estate development and business law.