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Thread poster: Emanuela Galdelli

Emanuela Galdelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Dec 1, 2008


I am Italian and I have signed an agreement with a company based in Florida.

I am very sick today, and could not deliver a translation.

Moreover, the text has some problems, it is blocked at the half of the document, and I had to do every time control + alt + canc and close it. Of course changes are not saved.

Apart that, the fact that today I am sick does not allow me to end the translation. I delivered 2200 words out of 3000.

The company does not understand, not believing that I am sick ;| and says I will have legal and financial consequences.

I am about to send a medical certificate to them (is it compulsory).

Is their behaviour correct according to you?

Does the Florida law on work talk about illness?

Can a sick person work according to you?

Does anyone of you have info about Florida law about work and agreements?

Thanks a lot,


[Edited at 2008-12-01 19:38 GMT]

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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 08:14
German to English
Labor law does not apply in your case Dec 1, 2008

Most labor regulations in the US apply to the workplace, not external / freelance employees.

However, by accepting the company's offer, and agreeing to deliver a translation of a certain quality at a specified time in exchange for payment, under most US contract law, you are considered to have entered into a contract, whether you have signed something or not. The client does not care whether you are ill, and unless otherwise specified, he/she does not have to accept any reasons for non-performance. It may not be fair, but it is a standard business practice. You didn't deliver the product as agreed.

A medical certificate won't do you any good.

What can you expect in terms of penalties? In all fairness, your client should pay you for what you actually delivered, assuming the translation was of a reasonable quality.

However, you have also inconvenienced your client, and a second translator must be found, perhaps one who charges more than you. Who should bear the cost in that event?

The worst that will happen is that you won't get paid and you'll never get another job from that client. There is no practical way of enforcing legal penalties, as the client would have to obtain a judgment against you in an Italian court. The sum involved, at most a few hundred dollars, wouldn't be worth the expense of an international lawsuit. The same applies to you if you were to try to get paid for the work you delivered.

It is unfortunate that you got ill and couldn't complete the job. I hope you get better soon!

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Emanuela Galdelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Well.. Dec 1, 2008

after their behaviour, I do not want their money and I do not want to work again with them! It's a nightmare. Instead of saying "we wish you to recover soon", they told that it is lack of professionalism :|||

In Italy when someone is sick, we respect him/her, we would never think about writing these things and others I cannot say.

I think it's the same all over the world. I have never had such an exchange of emails with no agency in the world, never in my life.

Moreover, even I had been in good conditions, I could have never finished the job, the file did not work, it blocked my pc.

It's a lesson for the future, it's funny, but this is life.

Thanks for your answer!

[Edited at 2008-12-02 08:00 GMT]

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