What are the ramifications of filing a wage claim against your employer in Oregon?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What are the ramifications of filing a wage claim against your employer in Oregon?

My employer, who is sort of a friend/acquaintance, has not paid my salary for a month and will likely be another paycheck in one week. He also owes me money on a personal loan which is another story but overdue in terms of the number of times and dates he has promised to pay at least some back.

He is in major financial trouble right now. I know that much but am not sure of the true extent and details.

1 The personal loan is not a labor deal, but is there any link between them when it comes to filing for unpaid wages?
2 My employer has many people coming after him for money right now. What are the ramifications for me in the following scenarios
a. He files for bankruptcy
b. The other parties taking legal action against him file before me, get paid and no money is left over to pay my unpaid wages i.e. he has no money to pay me

Asked on October 17, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Wage claims are affected by bankruptcy, so if you file the claims and he files bankruptcy, your claim will be "stayed" (put on hold) during the bankruptcy process. Then, depending on what kind of bankruptcy was filed, how much income and assets he has, and how many other claims were against him, you could get anything from nothing, to a few cents on the dollar, to a significant portion of your claim, to everything, if his bankruptcy filing ends up being rejected (e.g. he does not meet the criteria). We can't say what the end result will be since it depends on so many different specific facts, only that bankruptcy will affect your claim and will likely (most cases) result in getting less, possibly much less, than you filed for.
And if all the employer's money and assets are used up, such as by other claims against him, before they get to your claim (to oversimplify: claims are addressed in the order in which they are filed), you won't get anything: a claim does not make money appear where is none, and as the old saying goes, you can't get blood from a stone.
File your wage claim NOW and also sue him (e.g. in small claims court0 for the loan. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that other claims will be filed first and all his money used up.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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