Best Employer Practices for Preventing Unclaimed Funds

Each year, Sheakley is required to complete a report for the State of Ohio. This report lists all unclaimed payroll checks from our co-employees’ and then our team sends the cash for those unclaimed payroll checks to the State of Ohio. This becomes a part of Ohio’s Unclaimed Funds. This year, there has been an increase in unclaimed employee paychecks. We want to help make you aware of how this has occurred, how to correct it, and ultimately, help prevent it in the future.

Let’s start with an example of a situation that has occurred and resulted in an unclaimed payroll check:

Unclaimed Funds Situation

Jane Doe is due to be paid on Thursday with a live payroll check. The check has not arrived in the mail. On Friday, Jane meets with her on site payroll person and explains that she really needs her paycheck and cannot wait until Monday or later. She has pressing things that she needs to do over the weekend. She asks the company payroll person to handwrite her a paycheck from the office checkbook. Jane says that whenever her live paycheck arrives in the mail, she will hand it over. The company payroll person agrees and handwrites Jane her net paycheck for that week. Jane is happy.

Unclaimed Funds Problem

The check arrives in the mail and Jane hands it over, as promised. The company payroll person is happy and places the live payroll check in her the desk and thinks no more about it.

The check arrives in the mail and Jane hands it over, as promised. The company payroll person is happy and places the live payroll check in her the desk and thinks no more about it.
It is now July of the following year and it is time for unclaimed funds again. There is an outstanding check listed for Jane that has never been cashed or voided.

Unclaimed Funds Scenarios that Can Occur

Sheakley’s accounting department sends Jane a letter stating there is a paycheck for her that has never been cashed.

  1. Jane is surprised but happy and contacts Sheakley to claim this check.
  2. Jane cannot be located and ultimately the money is sent in to Ohio’s Unclaimed Funds, which Jane can later claim through the Ohio.gov website.

Correcting the Unclaimed Funds Problem

The first thing that should have been done is to contact your Sheakley payroll specialist and tell them that Jane has not received her paycheck and you have written her a replacement from the office checkbook. The payroll specialist would VOID the live payroll check. This void is important because there is no longer an outstanding/uncashed live payroll check in the system for Jane. Shredding or destroying a live payroll check does not void it out.

Prevention for Unclaimed Funds

Please encourage your employees to use direct deposit or our new Sheakley pay card. Electronic deposits are really easy to do and prevents lost, stolen, damaged or never received payroll checks.

Maintaining good communication lines with your Sheakley payroll specialist is very important. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to ask questions. The only dumb question is the question not asked.

Please note that the scenario given is one example that can lead to unclaimed funds. There are many more, even as simple as an employee not cashing their paychecks when it is received.

We are firm believers that employees do not work for free. Please help us in clearing up the outstanding checklist before it needs to be reported to unclaimed funds. They will be forwarded to you periodically throughout the year.

By | 2017-08-08T16:16:09+00:00 August 8th, 2017|Human Resources, Industry Insights|0 Comments
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