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Failure to Pay Wages And Bankruptcy of Employer - New York

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  • Failure to Pay Wages And Bankruptcy of Employer - New York

    I was employed by a NYC restaurant with around 9 other employees. After Hurricane Sandy, the restaurant closed down and none of the employees have been paid in more than 4 weeks. Money owed includes wages and tip money. The owner says the restaurant has no money and that if he fails to get an investor the company will file for bankruptcy and nobody will get paid.

    First Question: Can a group of employees make a joint complaint to the Labor department or do we each have to file individual complaints.

    Second Question: If the company files for bankruptcy, what are the rights of the employees to recover unpaid wages and tip money owed.
    Thank you

  • #2
    This is going to be a soft answer.
    - File wage claims immeadiately with the NY DOL or whatever they call it. This will almost certainly be one person at a time, not that I know NY specific rules. There is no certainty that this will work, but there is certainty that failing to do so is a very bad idea.
    - Start looking for another job immeadiately. Do not wait for your employer or NY DOL or the BK trustee to sort things out.
    - There are many types of bankruptcy and it takes as long as it takes and you get whatever you get, which might be nothing, or might be something, but will not be any time soon if it something. The very most you can do is to make the BK trustee aware of your claim, and filing with NY DOL should accomplish that in the most useful way. Failing to file the claim with NY DOL at best greatly worsens your chances with BK. And sooner is much better then later.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Are we talking about wages earned BEFORE the restaurant closed down?
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cbg View Post
        Are we talking about wages earned BEFORE the restaurant closed down?
        Hello. Yes. The wages include hours worked before the restaurant closed as well as tips (from credit card sales) owed to staff.

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        • #5
          Then I agree with the above answer. File with the state DOL. Each employee should file separately. Do it immediately. Assume that you no longer have a job. File for unemployment.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            wage claim (wage claim form NY)

            http://www.labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/LS223.pdf
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