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Labor Board Judgments

Q. I have a judgment from the California Labor Board - can a Judgment Enforcer recover my money?

A: Yes, but there are three things to be aware of:

First - A problem (especially these days) - is the company that owed you money - may be out of business now. If it's out of business - we may be out of luck.

Second - the labor board (In California, this is the DLSE) must register your judgment with a State court. Most often they do that automatically. But sometimes you have to remind them.

Third - labor boards rarely make the owner(s) of the business liable on the judgment. That means it is rarely possible to collect from the owner personally. Occasionally, the DLSE with help with an "alter-ego" to add person(s) to the judgment, however you will lose any accrued interest, and ask the State court for a new judgment with a new case number, asking the creditor to assign the old judgment to them.

All labor board judgments lodged with courts are lodged in the main court, never small claims, no matter how small the amount is. In California, Labor Board Code 1194.3 says that an employee can recover attorney's fees and costs incurred to enforcer a judgment for unpaid wages - but only against the company named, and if the company is out of business, usually it is game over.

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