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Collecting lost wages from last employer.

Seattle, WA |

I have a small claims case I am trying to file, or thinking of filing at this point.

The amount I am owed is $4,576.00 in lost wages but I was trying to collect 5k from interest and hardship. My boss/previous employer (Pedigree Business Solutions) also owes me a little extra in lost benefits. I realize the small claims limit is 5k. I was wondering if it is worth pursuing in another court for a little more for the lost benefits plus interest and hardship. It has been 6 months since he owed me this money.

If you don't think it is worth pursuing outside of small claims court I was hoping you could tell me which district I need to file my claim in. The address is 22407 103rd Drive SE, Snohomish, WA 98296. I've looked online and called around and can't find out.


Thanks! I filed a complaint with L&I board and talked to the person who had my case. Before she looked over my file she said that they had no power to collect the money regardless of their verdict. They went further to say that once a verdict was reached that I would be unable to go to court and retrieve my money. The person said it was one or the other, so I canceled my complaint with them and decided to go the court route.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

I would encourage you not to run this through small claims court. If your employer intentionally withheld wages from you and you prevail in court, the employer will get to pay you double what it owes you plus your attorney's fees.

I would suggest you work with an employment law attorney to resolve this. The attorney will likely first write a demand letter, which may clear things up quickly without having to go to court. If that doesn't work, and the case is fairly straight forward, it may be worth pursuing in court, since your former employer will ultimately get to pay your attorney. The only exception to this would be if your former employer is insolvent. A court award is of no use if you can't collect it.


Actually, you can file a complaint with Labor and Industries to recover unpaid wages. L&I will do the work for you on this. Until L&I advises you that the wages cannot be recovered for you by them, it does not appear hiring an attorney or filing a claim in small claims court would be necessary.