Bill to allow wage liens against employer property heads to committee

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 13, 2012

AB 2517 (Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park) would allow any employee, employee representative, or the Labor Commissioner to file a lien against an employer's real and personal property simply on the basis that the employee believes he or she has a valid wage claim against the employer.  The lien could take precedent over almost any other lien or judgment, including mortgages, and could be filed for single employee wage claims that amount to several hundred dollars in damages and/or class action and representative wage claims that allege millions of dollars in damages.

At the time of filing the lien, the employee would have no burden to provide any actual evidence that the employer violated any wage and hour law. Rather, the employee would simply have to provide a few basic details, including: (1) a demand statement of the alleged amount owed; (2) employer's name; (3) description of the property; (4) and the employee's address.

Not only would these liens apply to real property owned by the employer, but would extend to any property where the employee has performed work for the alleged wage claim.

Filing a lien of such significance without first proving the merit of their allegations will basically subject employers to constant extortion in order to avoid dealing with a lien on their property.

This bill will be heard in Assembly Labor and Employment Committee next week where CMTA and others business organizations will gather to fight against its adoption.

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