Q: Employer hasn't paid full wages for a year. Recently, business became LLC. Can employee get past wages still?
Employee was working "under the table" but is still paid by company check at times. July 2019 to Jan. 2020 unpaid hours are 336.75 hours. Employers reason for not paying is he is waiting for final job payment. In good faith employee accepted excuse. Employer has given token payment towards wage hours (i.e. 7-17-19 thru 10-16-19 was paid $500 towards hours owed. No other payment for wages until 12-23-19 of $1000.00) . In a conversation with employer, employer stated "becoming a LLC was in best interest of all employee's and protected employer's assets and property from debts incurred by his business"? How does employee get past wages from employer?
A: Original employer, whether a Corp, LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership is always liable for wages, even if company dissolves or goes out of business--then owner or shareholders can be liable.
If a business "converts" from sole proprietorship to Corp, LLC etc., the "new"
company remains liable for all wages owed.
You are most likely entitled to waiting time penalties and fines, including interest and atty fees, too.
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A: The employer's conversion to LLC does not do what he thought, since, under the Labor Code, you can pierce any corporate format and get at the person making the decisions to STEAL YOUR WAGES. You have a 3 year statute of limitations to get back wages but only 1 year to collect penalties, such as $50 per pay period for not being given a proper statement of earnings. There are other potential claims you are losing out on because you are waiting too long. The 1 year statute allows you to reach back one year from the date you file a claim with LC or a lawsuit. If you are owed less than $10,000 in wages, you should go to small claims and seek wages, liquidated damages for unpaid overtime (even if he later paid some of it), interest, and other penalties. There are penalties for not paying you all wages at least twice a month. Consult an employment attorney in your area right away, and get your claim going against both the original owner and the LLC.
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