Are you complying with your reporting and notification obligations for unclaimed wages?

by McAfee & Taft
Contact

As employers, you have so many reporting requirements I know the last thing you want to hear is that there’s another one you may need to factor in. But, as lawyers it’s our job to sometimes be the bearer of bad news.

So, have you been complying with your reporting responsibilities under the Unclaimed Property Act, Okla. Stat. tit. 60, §§ 651 et seq.? The statue requires “[a] person holding property, tangible or intangible, presumed abandoned and subject to custody as unclaimed property under the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act,” to file a report with the Oklahoma State Treasurer concerning the abandoned property. Under the Act, a “person” includes businesses.

unclaimed-wagesUnclaimed, but not forgotten

Remember that laptop and bag of tools that was left behind when an employee never showed up for work again? Or what about that uncashed final paycheck? If the aggregate value of such unclaimed property is $50 or more, it must be reported.

The most common form of unclaimed property that is cause for concern for employers is unpaid wages. According to Oklahoma law, unpaid wages, “including wages represented by unpresented payroll checks” which have not been claimed for over a year, are presumed abandoned and thus must be reported to the State Treasurer. So, that uncashed paycheck you sent to that “no call/no show” former employee 13 months ago not only keeps your checkbook from balancing, but it requires you to file a report and to turn the property or funds over to the state. Failure to do so can be costly for employers.

Mandatory reporting requirements

The required reporting form is maintained by the Oklahoma State Treasurer’s office and can be accessed online here. The required contents of the report are located in the statute at section 661 and include: 1) the name and last known address of the person to whom the check belongs (if it is over $50); 2) a description of the property; and 3) when the check became payable and the last date of employment. And, the report must be verified. You need to file the report by November 1 of each year to include any property reportable as of the preceding July 1.

The fun does not end there. The statute also requires you send written notice of the unclaimed property (assuming it is for more than $50) to the former employee’s last known address at least 120 days prior to filing the report. You are also required to maintain records about the unclaimed property for at least four years after it has been reported.

Of course things can get even more complicated if the last known address of the former employee is in another state. In that case, you need to consult the state laws of the state where you believe the person to reside, and comply with the reporting requirements of that state.

Potential fines and penalties for noncompliance

In summary, make sure you are keeping track of unclaimed paychecks and property and that you are complying with reporting requirements. In Oklahoma, the fines for failing to comply with your obligations include paying interest at an annual rate of 10 percent from the date the property should have been paid in addition to a penalty ranging from $100 for each day the report has not been filed, up to $5,000.


 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McAfee & Taft | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McAfee & Taft
Contact
more
less

McAfee & Taft on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!