Can I fight a restaurant for wages not paid if I was a part-owner?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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Can I fight a restaurant for wages not paid if I was a part-owner?

My husband invested 45% in a restaurant which he asked me to work at for a year and a half. I didn’t get paid but yelled at from our partner and work some demanding hours without pay. My husband and I have been married for 17 years. Unfortunately we ended in a separation and now is claiming he does not own the restaurant or took his money out. Him and his partner are concerned that i will fight them for a share. They have opened another restaurant. I’m just wondering if I can take the restaurant to court to get paid for that year. The only proof I have that the restaurant was my husbands is an email that his partner sent to my husband saying she was concerned about my actions and that they need a plan of action as soon as possible.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Business Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to decide what tpye of claim you first want to make. Do you want to make a claim as an employee for the restaurant that your husband was a forty-five percent (45%) owner for unpaid wages, or do you want to make a claim in the restaurant as a community interest during your marital dissolution. Or, do you want to make both claims?

One way to make a claim for unpaid wages is to go down to your local labor department and make a claim for unpaid wages and see what happens. This will start an investigation and possible action by an administrative agency for your wage claim.

As to a claimed marital interest in the restaurant, you should consult with a family law attorney (if you do not have one concerning your separation). If there are court filings concerning your separation in place, you should consider submitting demands for information concerning this restraurant that you believe your husband has a forty-five percent (45%) interest in.

Good luck.


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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