My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Michigan
We own a very small corporation in the state of Michigan (the Supplier). We have been hired to perform services (for a large Navada company - the Principal) in the state of Pennsylvania.
In the contract we gave to the Principal, which they signed in August, it states:
"Payment for the services rendered by Supplier and the employees and agents it supplies shall be made at the rate of $60 per hour. The Principal agrees to provide a mandatory paid 40 hours per week. The Principal agrees to pay the federal standard mileage rate for mileage incurred by the Supplier to and from facilities the Principal owns, operates, or contracts with. These terms shall be modified only upon the written consent of Principal and Supplier. Supplier shall be solely responsible for compensating the employees and agents who have provided therapy services through Supplier on Principalsí behalf. Payment for services rendered shall be mailed or directly deposited into Supplier bank account weekly following the week in which the services were rendered."
In another section:
"This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and may not be altered or amended, except by written agreement of both parties."
After a few weeks of not getting paid, we went high up the ladder, at which time the COO of the Principal, who actually signed the contract, stated that he misread the contract. He had made a change to the contract on another page:
"and continuing until either party terminates the Agreement upon at least thirty days (30) days prior written notice to the other party."
He crossed out 30 and put in 45. That was fine with us. Contract signed. We moved to Pennsylvania and started working.
Getting back to our conversation with him. He claims that he thought that meant he was to pay us on a 45 day schedule. He admits that he was wrong. However, he refuses to pay us on the weekly schedule as stated in the contract. In a follow up call, he offered to pay us what we were owed on a weekly basis until he was caught up and then every two weeks. We agreed. The verbal addendum was not written as required in the contract.
The week following the coversation, he paid us for our first two invoices. A month has gone by, we've continued providing service, submitting invoices weekly, and we haven't recieved any payments since. He hasn't abided by either the written contract or the verbal addendum. He claims that a big check is en route today, but we will still be owed for 2 -1/2 weeks (invoices which they have). He still claims that he will not pay weekly and still admits to making a mistake in his changes to the contract.
At this time, we have unofficially ceased providing services at least until we recieve this latest check. I have written an addendum, which I'm prepared to send to him which outlines, in great detail, the payment schedule for the remainder of our contract - the term of which ends in three weeks.
Should I send the written addendum, which outlines a two week payment schedule for the remainder of the contract? We're not sure if we can trust this company to another written contract, but we'd rather not lose several thousand dollars either.
Should we cease working immediately and permanantly, as the written contract is currently breach? Even if we recieve the large payment today, we will still be owed for two full weeks of work, which he claims he won't pay until we work out another payment schedule.
If we do stop working, we need to relocate immediately to another state where we will start a new contract.
Obviously, we were expecting to work for another three weeks. We will incur costs which hadn't expected. If we hand this to a lawyer, will we be entitled to being reimbursed for those legal expenses? Our contract does not say we will. It only says the following:
"Should either party initiate legal action, this Agreement shall be governed, construed, and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule that would cause the application of the laws or any other jurisdiction other than the State of Michigan. No action may be brought related to this Agreement except in the state court of competent jurisdiction in Chippewa County, Michigan. Supplier irrevocably consents to the exercise of personal jurisdiction over it by such court."
Please share what we are entitled to and what our rights are.