I help clients enforce awards of the California Labor Commissioner. These are typically wage and hour claims for: non-payment of wages, overtime, waiting time penalties, etc.
Once the award has been made the Labor Commissioner should file it with the local superior court. (The employer may file an appeal which is heard in the superior court. Many employers do not appeal the award.)
Once the award is filed with the superior court, it is the enforceable just like a regular civil money judgment, i.e. as if the case had been handled in the superior court from the beginning. Just like a civil judgment, however, the award does not enforce itself. You need to take action to collect. If you assigned the award or judgment to the Labor Commissioner to collect, you can still have it re-assigned back to yourself and hire a private attorney to help you. I mean no disrespect, but in an era of budget cuts, who is going to be more responsive in helping you collect the award: a private attorney or a governmental agency?
Know also that the law lets you add attorney’s fees for collection work enforcing the award.