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Are we entitled to the money?

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I live in Canada (could not find any similar Canadian sites) and my wife is having trouble collecting money that is owed to her. She is a registered massage therapist that worked as an independant contractor to a private rehab centre from Sept. '97 to Aug. '99. The centre collects the money and pays my wife her portion and as Nov. '99 still owed her about $5,000.00. She's been getting on his ass (when she goes there to get physical therapy) and he is down to owing her $1,800.00 but gave her a note on the last cheque that stated that the only reason he paid her this much so far is because he likes her. That gave me the impression that he may not pay the rest, so I'm going to go visit him next Friday (the centre is 1.5 hours away from our town) and I just want to ensure my bullets are not blank.
These are the lines on the contract that refer to money collection and payment.

4. The Centre shall provide the Massage Therapist with administrative support for her practise, including; client scheduling, invoicing, collections, and transcription (as needed);
5. The Centre shall be responsible for collecting all outstanding fees, and shall pay out the respective portion of such collections to the Massage Therapist twice monthly.
Where a credit relationship is extended: It is the responsibility of the Massage Therapist to ensure that any approvals necessary for the provision of Massage Therapy Services are obtained prior to commencing services. The centre shall make resonable efforts to collect any outstanding credit accounts, but cannot assume responsibilty for any account that is uncollectable.

I was lead to believe that the last line refers to that my wife has the right to allow a person (usually a friend or family member) to receive treatments without direct payment but the centre is not responsible if the money is not collected because my wife gave the ok to extend a credit relationship.
He has already paid out many outstanding client bills with notes saying "not collected - write off". So this tells me that he is responsible because the way I see it my wife fulfilled her part of the deal and he is just doing his (but it has been 7 months already and he is still not done).
Can he not pay us and say that it has not been collected yet and just leave us hanging forever?
In '98 the other Massage Therapist left the centre and he would not pay her at all (she left on bad terms where as my wife left on a pregnancy leave) until she mentioned that she had a lawyer and then things sped up.
I hope someone can reassure me before I go see him next Friday.

Looking for money in Canada!




Your understanding of the contract paragraph you cited (at the end) is correct. I would interpret it that way also. The bottom line is that your wife is owed that money as her wages. The employer must pay it over as soon as possible, or at least on regularly scheduled pay days. Definitely keep an attorney in your pocket to deal with this guy.

Mark B. Replogle

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