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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Well my employer is not paying me for over 2.5 months. But

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Well my employer is not paying me for over 2.5 months. But the company assets are about as much as he owes me. Can I get quick judgment, before he destroys whatever left from company?

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am extremely sorry to hear that you have not been paid for so long. Unfortunately, there is no way to obtain a "quick" judgment, as court proceedings usually take at least 12 months and DLSE complaints at least 4-6. There is no way to expedite this process.

If you sue in civil court, however, you may be able to obtain a preliminary injunction and asset freeze which prohibits your insolvent employer from touching any of its remaining assets. Otherwise, your options are to attempt a quick settlement with a payment plan, or to obtain a judgment and, in the event of company bankruptcy, assert your right as a priority creditor in the bankruptcy proceeding to whatever assets the company is left with.

One other option is to attempt to collect your eventual court or DLSE judgment against your employer in his personal capacity. Even if the business is formally orgnized as an LLC, LLP, or corporation (which normally protects its owners from personal liability), you can "pierce the veil" of the entity's structure by proving: (1) that there was such unity of interest and ownership that the separate personalities of the business and the owner no longer existed, and (2) that, if the acts giving rise to legal action are treated as those of the buisness alone, an inequitable result will follow.

Courts are very hesitatant to "pierce the veil," and will generally only do so where the business structure has been abused in some substantial way. For a great summary of the factors courts will consider in determiing whether to "pierce the veil," see the seminal California case on that topic here:,5

This would ordinarily be the extent of your recourse under the circumstances. To find an attorney who can assist with your civil action, see here:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I guess I need to give a little more details here. The company is Insurance Agency, and the assets are the Book of Business. Now, if this book are not properly serviced, it will loose its value, and as it I wont be able to return my money. The owner has no knowledge, neither experience to service the book. What path would you recommend civil judgment, so I can start servicing the book after preliminary injunction and asset freeze, or DLSE judgment? Can I get DLSE judgment without "pierce the veil". Which way are cheaper? BTW there are no other employees in company, besides me, and I was so called "president"


Thank you very much for your reply and this additional helpful information.

This is a delicate situation with no ideal solution. Obviosuly, if you bankrupt the company with agresive litigation, you may never collect what you are owed. Of course, if you are too "soft," your employer will have no incentive to pay you.

Here on Just Answer we cannot provide legal advice--we can only provide information about the law--so I cannot tell you what to do or advise a particular course of action. This limitation noted, if I personally were in your circumstance I would be inclined to file with the DLSE. It is simpler than filing a complaint in civil court, free, and you don't need an attorney. An injunction and asset freeze, which you could only obtain in civil court, will not be of much use here since you indicate that the company's primary asset is its book of business, which cannot easily (if at all) be liquidated.

The DLSE will take all actions possible to secure your judgment in a cost efficient and time efficient manner. "Piercing the veil" is something that would be done AFTER you secure the DLSE judgment if your company is then unable to pay. For that, you'd want the assistance of attorney, but further discussion of procedure in this respect is premature.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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