Clients have the ability to file a dispute if they do not agree with the hours you invoiced for the previous week while working on their project. If a client files an hourly dispute, your contract will be paused and the contract’s weekly limit will be set to zero. If you wish to continue working on the contract following the outcome of the dispute, please discuss resuming the contract with your client.

You can choose to reject or accept the dispute, but it is important that you respond. If you do not respond within 3 business days your client will be refunded for all of the disputed hours. 

To respond to and review your dispute

  1. Go to My Jobs  All Contracts (select the Include closed contracts checkbox, if necessary)
  2. Find the job with the dispute and click its title
  3. Click REVIEW
  4. Fill out the form and submit

If you reject the dispute

  • Upwork will review your Work Diary to evaluate the disputed hours against the criteria of Upwork Hourly Protection within four business days
  • If all disputed hours are found to meet the criteria of Upwork Hourly Protection, you will be paid according to the usual weekly billing cycle
  • If any of the disputed hours do not meet the criteria of Upwork Hourly Protection, Upwork will refund the hours that are non-compliant

If you accept the dispute

  • All of your disputed hours are refunded to your client

Note: If your client cancels the dispute, the disputed hours will be paid according to the usual weekly billing cycle.

For Agencies

If you’re in an agency and the client files a dispute against you, both you and your agency manager will be notified and able to respond to the dispute. Regardless of who responds initially, the agency manager will be required to participate in the consultation with an Upwork dispute specialist. Excessive disputes against an agency's freelancers may result in suspension of the agency as a whole.

Important—The hourly dispute process only pertains to hourly contracts, and reviewing a freelancer’s Work Diary is the primary criteria for understanding whether time worked qualifies for Upwork Hourly Protection. However, Upwork retains the right to withhold payment on any contract if a user is in violation of the Upwork Terms of Service.

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