What can a wage claim do to compensate unpaid wages?

My husband worked for a start-up company who owes him apx. $11,000 in wages and health care reimbursements. We have a signed letter from them stating the amount owed to him and their intent to pay him. They have since admitted to their responsiblities as employers rather than contractors and have requested W-4's and sent W-2's and emails as evidence per their responsibilities to the Employment Development Department. One employee in response to their non-payment of wages as promised delivered the recently requested signed W-4 so that an additional amount withheld was owed by them to the IRS equaling the amount owed to him in wages. We did not think of this brilliant plan. But, we have filed a labor wage claim and have received notice to attend a conference. My question is: If the company does not have the money to pay (since they owe the IRS so much), will there be a forced arrangement through payments or otherwise that will ensure my husband is paid? (We will be living in another state at the time of the conference and it will be costly for us to attend, especially if no monetary effectiveness will result from it.

1 answer  |  asked Feb 22, 2002 01:23 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
blood from a stone

you cannot get money the company doesn't have. with an acknowledged debt, the dlse will probably want them to agree to a payment plan. this however, will do you no good if they fail to pay. you may want to insist on a consent judgment (order) with the dlse, that you can take to a court for enforcement if necessary; however, if the company goes bankrupt, certainly the irs lien will take precedence even over wage claims. your being in another state will make it that much harder to enforce your judgment.
good luck
janet koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Feb 22, 2002 10:08 AM [EST]

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