Hello, I have a problem and would really appreciate some guidance.
I worked for a company as a freelance consultant. Not within a design capacity, but within environmental work.
During this time my interest and hobby in design was noticed and I was asked to design a new brand identity, as well as a new interior architectural space for their new headquarters. There was no agreement and no contract, and I was not payed a separate fee for this work-I was to do the work on the side, on top of my regular job and to bill the company for those extra hours at my regular hourly wage.
Months of red-eye design work, research and personally searching and locating a new building for them of which to implement the designs later, and for unrelated reasons the workplace became sour. I had a very bad encounter with one of the owners, which I would classify as workplace bullying, and I walked out of the company.
Now they are saying my drafts, renderings and sketches are theirs and that I must hand them over. I don't necessarily mind doing so, but want to be protected from the off-chance that they may hire a design student or someone else to implement and/or take credit for my work.
They still owe me two weeks of pay, and the last email I received from them basically said they would like the designs first 'before we will settle commercial terms with you'
Help, please!! I feel underpayed for this work, and like I have been taken advantage of. They told me they wanted me to continue to oversee the entire design process after I left, I scheduled a real estate appointment and toured them through a new building-which they agreed to lease, and at the last minute they phoned to tell me they wouldn't be moving to that location so my services wont be needed as of this moment. I am sure they are still moving there but that I have been pushed out-all my work being taken from under me.
Can I request a buyout for the sketches and renderings? If so, what kind of template or resource do I turn to for that?
Thank you if you've read this whole post, I would really appreciate any guidance available.