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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36701
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I presented my resignation on June 1st because my employer

Customer Question

I presented my resignation on June 1st because my employer has been paying us late since January, also they did deduct from my paychecks of April (that I received late) the moneys for the Health insurance and when I went to the Dr. I discovered that my health insurance had been terminated because my employer did not pay it. As of today, the only money that my employer has paid me is $350. They owe me close to $5K. I know that they have taken a luxury vacation in Panama, yet when I call them to request payment they are always giving me some excuse or another. I put a claim in labor board but they have done nothing. I know that they have inventory (one co-worker has a recording of all the inventory from the last week of May) worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I did send them an e-mail yesterday giving them until the end of next week to pay me. I suggested them to liquidate part of the inventory. I know for a fact that as many as 4 more ex-employees are in the same situation. As far as I know the company is still functioning, with 4 people. The CEO, COO and two more.
What can I do to get paid? I do not think labor board is doing anything. I do not have the assets to hire a lawyer. I offer them to renounce to the interests that I am entitled to due to them not having paid me yet....
Please let me know
Thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I have been a CA licensed attorney for more than 30 years and I handle employment law.

I'm sorry to hear that the Labor Board is not able to assist you. Quite frankly, there is limited results that the Labor Board can get and much depends on the company being afraid of the Board and apparently your company is not. But there is a way to get your wages---and to actually double them based on the illegal behavior of the employer up to this point in time. Let me explain.

You do need to consider actually suing the employer in court and recover your wages/commissions. Additionally, if you sue in court, under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to seek what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double the wages owed you in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you. Additionally, you will be entitled to be awarded costs of the court as well as your attorney fees incurred in filing suit and litigating it against your employer. http://labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/wage-and-hour-law/Liquidated-Damages-and-FLSA-Claims.html

A relatively recent law signed by the CA Governor, allows CA employees to seek liquidated damages when making a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), just as they could if suing in court initially. So in CA whether you make a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or file an action in court on your own, you may seek liquidated damages. Here is a link to an article on the change---good for CA employees, but bad for CA employers: http://www.shawvalenza.com/publications.php?id=343

The award of liquidated damages is mandatory unless employer shows that(A) act or omission giving rise to violation was in good faith and (B) the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that act or omission was not a violation of 29 U.S.C.A. § 216(b). This is a very difficult standard for the employer to meet.

Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Pursuing+an+FLSA+claim%3a+many+employers+have+figured+out+how+to+skirt+...-a0183316511

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon,

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread which is searchable and viewable by the public.

If I have already provided you with the information you asked for, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,

Doug

Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

Is there anything else I can assist you with this afternoon?

Doug

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