Do I have a lawsuit for unpaid wages and closing my place of employment with no notice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a lawsuit for unpaid wages and closing my place of employment with no notice?

I have been working for a salon for almost 6 years.At the end of last week he closed the business without giving us any warning. Upon going through my finances, I realized that he had not been paying me what he was supposed to. According to my math, he owes me close to $12,000 over the last 2 years.

Asked on November 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can try to sue for not being paid wages you earned--there is, however, no lawsuit for a business closing without notice. You can only sue when someone violates a duty or obligation, but there is no duty or obligation to give employees advance notice of closing. There being no notice requirement, you cannot sue for not receiving notice.
Getting back to suing for unpaid wages: the issue there is, who do you sue? While your employer has a legal obligation to pay you for all work you did, at the agreed upon wages, it's only the employer which has that obligation. Therefore, you can only sue your actual employer. If you worked for an LLC or corporation, the LLC or corporation, which is it's own legal "person," it was your employer: you could therefore only sue the LLC or corporation, not the manager, not the owner, etc.--only the LLC or corporation. And if the LLC or corporation is out of business, there may be no one to sue--you can't sue a dissolved company, and even if it's not dissolved, if it is out of business and has no money, there is no money for you to get.
However, if you did not work for an LLC or corporation, but rather your employer was a person (e.g. a sole proprietor), you could sue that person for your wages.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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