Director may require bond after assignment of wage claims or receipt of a wage complaint — Court action — Penalty for failure to pay wage claim.
(1) If upon investigation by the director, after taking assignments of any wage claim under RCW 49.48.040 or after receiving a wage complaint as defined in RCW 49.48.082 from an employee, it appears to the director that the employer is representing to his or her employees that he or she is able to pay wages for their services and that the employees are not being paid for their services, the director may require the employer to give a bond in such sum as the director deems reasonable and adequate in the circumstances, with sufficient surety, conditioned that the employer will for a definite future period not exceeding six months conduct his or her business and pay his or her employees in accordance with the laws of the state of Washington.
(2) If within ten days after demand for such bond the employer fails to provide the same, the director may commence a suit against the employer in the superior court of appropriate jurisdiction to compel him or her to furnish such bond or cease doing business until he or she has done so. The employer shall have the burden of proving the amount thereof to be excessive.
(3) If the court finds that there is just cause for requiring such bond and that the same is reasonable, necessary, or appropriate to secure the prompt payment of the wages of the employees of such employer and his or her compliance with one or more wage payment requirements as defined in RCW 49.48.082, the court shall enjoin such employer from doing business in this state until the requirement is met, or shall make other, and may make further, orders appropriate to compel compliance with the requirement.
(4) Upon being informed of a wage claim against an employer or former employer, the director shall, if such claim appears to be just, immediately notify the employer or former employer, of such claim by mail. If the employer or former employer fails to pay the claim or make satisfactory explanation to the director of his or her failure to do so, within thirty days thereafter, the employer or former employer shall be liable to a penalty of ten percent of that portion of the claim found to be justly due. The director shall have a cause of action against the employer or former employer for the recovery of such penalty, and the same may be included in any subsequent action by the director on said wage claim, or may be exercised separately after adjustment of such wage claim without court action. This subsection does not apply to wage complaints made under RCW 49.48.083.
[2010 c 42 § 5; 2010 c 8 § 12050; 1971 ex.s. c 55 § 4; 1935 c 96 § 3; RRS § 7596-3.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2010 c 8 § 12050 and by 2010 c 42 § 5, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|