What can I do if I won a small claims with former employer but they have not paid me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I won a small claims with former employer but they have not paid me?

I took my former employer to small claims for unpaid severance pay and won a judgement of $1,690. I received a payroll check in the amount of $750 ($599 after taxes) with a note saying that I was overpaid vacation time which is not at all true. First, can this judgement be paid by a payroll check? Second, what are my options to receive the balance of the judgement?

Asked on December 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) No, it should not be paid by payroll check *unless* you agreed to that, since the tax consequences of payroll vs. getting a check for the judgment are different--the employer cannot expose you to different tax consequences without your consent.
2) You would have to use collections mechanisms against your employer: e.g. you could get a writ or warrant authorizing the sheriff or a constable to take money out of their bank account to satisfy the judgment. You should be able to get instructions and forms from the court, either online or from the court clerks' office.

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