I got awarded a project in Nampa Idaho Amazon Project Bronco under a Subcontractor and i dont feel i got paid enough.

5 months ago
State: Idaho

I started working on a job last month and have not been able to cover my payroll i am $90,000.00 out of pocket. Contract is for $371,848.00 and i am already $155,578.75 in invoices plus $90,000.00 out of pocket all the time i invoice they make lower my invoice amount. I dont cover my labor i am hurting so bad on paying my labor and scared if i walk off the job i will get sued. I feel like i have been taken advantage of. They knew i had manpower for the job but yet not the cash they always tell next invoice you can invoice more and they slice it in half like a tomato. What can i do?

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Subcontractor
Project Type: Commercial
Senior Legal Associate Levelset
474 reviews

If you haven’t been getting paid what you’re owed, then there are a number of different tools that can be used to force payment. Issuing invoice reminders or demand letters, sending a Notice of Intent to Lien, or even filing a mechanics lien can force the customer to pay you what you’re owed.

But, while those tools are great for forcing a customer to pay what they owe you, they won’t be able to alter the terms of your contract. So, if you’ve agreed on a certain price, you’re more or less stuck with that price you’ve agreed upon. Though, it’s possible a customer might be willing to renegotiate if they understand that you’ll have to walk off the job or even go out of business based on the current prices.

With all of that being said, it’s a bad idea to manipulate your invoices just because a customer wants a better price. You’re entitled to be paid what you’re owed under the contract – and you’re entitled to invoice in accordance with your contract. What’s more, if the customer is asking for extras and change orders, you’re entitled to bill for that too. But, if you’re simply facing the results of improper job costing, you may be at the mercy of your customer, to some degree.

This sounds very similar to another recent question, and I think it may be a double posting: Can I get more money out of my contract? As mentioned in that answer, there may come a time when the decision has to be made on whether to walk away from the job and face liability or to continue with the job and face potential losses. And, if necessary, you may need to weight the pros and cons – and an Idaho construction attorney could help with that. Alternatively, renegotiating with the customer could be an option as well.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
2 found this helpful
Director of Project Controls FK Construction Funding
3 reviews

I agree with Matthew above. It would largely depend on the circumstances surrounding the amount or price of the contract. If you under bid the project there isn’t a lot you would be able to do other than negotiate with your customer about the circumstances. Likewise, if the scope has changed since you originally bid the job, and it has increased your costs, I would assume a scope change order would be appropriate.

If you are billing for work complete and are just not getting paid, again I would follow Matthews advice and send the Notice of Intent to Lien, or possibly file the Mechanics Lien. There may be multiple reasons here if the GC isn’t paying your for completed work, including their own cash flow troubles, which affects everyone on the project.

1 found this helpful
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