QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I have a kind heart, so I wind up being taken advantage of all the time. It dawned on me that maybe there is something I can do, and so I am asking you to assist. On many occasions I do work for people, and then they wind up telling me they cant pay me because they did me favours, or I volunteered.
I hardly ever volunteer the services I am earning from, but there are just some people who claim they are my friends who want to force me into doing work. Because we are friends I feel obligated and do the work and tell them nominal fees, then they turn around and tell me I volunteered.
Then there are the other persons who tell me they did this and that for me, after they force favours on me.
There must be something I can do. I know I should do a contract, but when it comes to friends I simply dont want to. Now I see that a contract is necessary, so I am going to also need your help. Can you help me?
RESPONSE: Dear Devona Spaulding,
I hope you know you can get justice through the courts. You can get an award for every dollar for your hard work, and our team members who themselves learnt by experience can assist for a nominal fee.
Written contracts are important as too often persons try to avoid payment claiming they signed no agreement.
However, its not a simple task and you will need help to put your case together, and to prove several things such as the benefits received, so either secure an attorney independently or arrange for our team members to assist you.
Lastly we do not offer counselling sessions, but if persons are in your life simply for favours from you and there is no balance, especially when they refuse to pay you what you or your work is worth, you need to drop them. Do not accept favours from persons without a clear understanding. At all times, do a contract of some sort, and yes our team can assist you.
Where you can DO NOT ACCEPT favours from people, especially when you are doing business. This might be one reason companies especially media houses insist that workers take no favours.