First post! My previous boss (Mr. B) referred me to this other company (Company X) where I was hired as an independent contractor to create press clips and I signed a 1099 with them. They were preparing a photo shoot for their next collection and Mr. B told me that retouches were in the budget and that I should just go ahead and start on the work as soon as I receive the files.
We verbally agreed that I would be paid hourly. This entire transaction was discussed to me by Mr. B. I finally finished all the photos. There were so many because they didn't narrow it down to which ones they wanted specifically. If I had to guess, there probably 30+ images (10+ were portraits, the rest were of 2 or 3+ models per image) and I retouched them all. The total amount of hours spent on them is 73. I didn't even expect to get much from it (even though i provided professional quality retouching) but assumed I would be paid my regular hourly rate which is only $9. And it's not like they didn't know I was working on them, I would show people periodically, my progress.
Long story short. My boss told me to come into his office one day and said that there was a misunderstanding between him and Company X and that I had to fib my hours because they were not going to pay me for the photos. I no longer work for Mr. B but have contacted the company stating how unfair this entire situation was and they blame it on my previous boss that he miscommunicated to me that I would be paid.
I know this is a great lesson to be learned, deal your business yourself, but I'm wondering what I can do about this because the Company had 3 of those images published in a sort of industry-prominent magazine. I went back and forth between Mr. B and X and they both are pointing the fingers at each other but since the photos are the property of that Company, I sent them an invoice which they have ignored. I know a paralegal but he does not specialize in copyright but feels I have a good chance of getting my money and to be compensated for other "punitive damages," is it worth it to file a small claims case?