$18,000 in unpaid wages and reimbursements - how to pursue

I'm looking to see if I have a case or legal options in recovering unpaid wages and reimbursements from a past employer. About two years ago I started working for a IT services company in Aurora, Ohio part time with the agreement that I would be paid hourly at a specific rate. However because the company was in "start up mode" I would be paid 1/2 up front and the other 1/2 when the company was up and running.

About a year later I started working full time for the company, and my employer asked if we could work out something for the 1/2 of the wages he owed me as it was larger than he had expected (over $17,000), possibly converting it to partial ownership of the company. Nothing was ever acted on it, and despite my occasional reminders that the funds were owed, all I ever got was "we'll work something out".

About three months ago, I submitted my letter of resignation to take a job with another company out of state. I've been trying to get my employer to make a commitment to pay my past due wages and about $1,500 in unpaid expenses but he keeps refusing to saying he cant because of legal issues with the partnership being dissolved and just not having the funds. I've even offered to take $500 in monthly payments, but after a single $300 payment the week before I left I've seen nothing. My ex-boss is not disputing that he owes me the funds, just his ability to pay me. I do have a reliable witness in the former accountant of this firm who I'm still in touch with (we volunteered together at church) who was very aware of the arrangement.

What is the best avenue to pursue getting these funds? I'm afraid that the 3 year statute of limitations is rapidly approaching and that the company might really go belly up leaving no funds to recover.

I'm also concerned because I'm in a very tight financial situation right now due to paying for a house in Ohio we're trying to sell and the expenses of getting re-established in Utah. I'm not in a position to make many trips back to Cleveland to pursue this matter if it's not going to work out in my favor.

Does it sound like this is worth pursuing?

1 answer  |  asked May 26, 2010 10:22 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Bruce Elfvin
Why did you wait so long? While this could be viewed as a failure to pay minimum wages and overtime pay, it really doesn't fit normal tests. You in essence agreed to and were paid in excess of the minimum wage. You also agreed to defer a portion of your compensation for a period. That promise was breached in the 2nd year when the amount agreed was not paid.

You do need to see an employment lawyer and decide whether or not it is worth it to you to pursue the claims you may have now. You can select an Ohio employment lawyer at www.oelasmart.net/directory

posted by Bruce Elfvin  |  Jun 25, 2010 2:48 PM [EST]

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