Failure to report unclaimed paychecks can cost employers

McAfee’s Sharolyn Whiting-Ralston discusses the penalties companies could face if they fail to report former employees’ unclaimed wages or property.
Oklahoman Modified: May 21, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: May 20, 2014
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Q&A

Failure to report unclaimed

paychecks can cost employers

Q: Occasionally an employee will leave a job and never return to pick up the various personal belongings he’s left behind. What obligations does the employer have in these circumstances?

A: Oklahoma law 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. Since the statute defines a person to include businesses, the employer is subject to these mandatory reporting requirements.

Q: What kinds of “property” do employers have to report?

A: The act requires employers to report any tangible or intangible property whose value is $50 or more. While this obviously includes tangible items such as tools or computer equipment, the most common form of unclaimed property for employers to report is unclaimed wages, which includes uncashed paychecks more than a year old. Employers are required to report property whose value is under $50 as well, but those only need be reported in the aggregate, not on an individualized basis.

Q: What is the process for reporting?

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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