When you do work for somebody, an “implied-in-fact” contract may be established through what you and they said and did. These usually begin with an ORAL statement wherein somebody asks another to do a job for them.
However, this can also happen when an employee volunteers to do work for the boss. In other words, just because you brought up the fact that work should be done, then did it, that does not mean you do not have to be paid for what you did to help out the boss.
The Utah judiciary has stated that a contract “implied in fact” is a “contract” established primarily by conduct. In other words, there may not be a written agreement, but somebody asked someone to do a job, and the other person did the job.
So, if a kid knocks on your door and says, “Hi, can I mow your lawn?” and you say, “Sure!” You should plan on paying that kid for the going rate of lawn mowing unless you can plainly show he had some reason to do it free for you.
However, if somebody helps you change a flat tire on the side of a freeway, it’s less likely a judge will think the “Good Samaritan” was expecting to be paid.
The elements you have to establish to prove you are owed money are: (1) somebody requested you to perform work; (2) you expected the person who asked that the work be done to compensate you for those services; and (3) the person who asked really should have known that you expected compensation. Davies v. Olson, 746 P.2d 264, 269 (Utah Ct.App.1987) (citations omitted).
In other words, they asked you to confer a benefit upon them, and you did. But, again, it can be implied that you asked for it, even if they brought it up first.
Don’t sweat it if you do not have the agreement in writing. Also, if you were “salaried,” don’t let that dissuade you either. Your boss needs to give you a job description.
For example, if you are a car salesman, but have to clean snow off cars, and you have nothing stating that such cleaning is part of your commissions, then the car dealer may have to pay you for all that snow removal.
Again, ask yourself: 1) what was I hired to do? then, 2) did I perform work that went beyond that? and 3) did the boss know I was doing that work?
Bottom line: if you did extra work, you ought to be paid for it – after all, they got the benefit of your work.
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