Oregon labor commissioner Brad Avakian is tapping a special state fund to pay out more than $150,000 to former employees of a Troutdale company that was auctioned off in bankruptcy earlier this summer.
Oregon is one of only two states that has such a fund.
Seventy-four workers who were employed by Pacific Cargo Services will receive up to $4000 in wages from the state's Wage Security Fund.
This is an account that helps employees recoup money they're owed when businesses shut down or become insolvent.
Commissioner Avakian says the fund can be a lifeline for employees, if their company goes under.
"And likewise, it's a great tool for employers, if they find themselves in that position, to make sure that their employees don't end up in a very difficult situation as well," Avakian said.
Workers who file claims with Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries can qualify for payment of unpaid wages during the 60 days preceding their company's closure. The agency then works to recover the funds from employers.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.