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TX - Incapacitated employee's final paycheck

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  • TX - Incapacitated employee's final paycheck

    We had an employee who collapsed on the job in June of this year. This is not an on-the-job injury, but a mysterious heart or some other condition he had.

    He is still recovering from this incident and has not been able to return to work. He was terminated at the end of September.

    His final paycheck was mailed in July, and has not been cashed. Our payroll company notified us that the check had not been negotiated and that after 6 months it will be cancelled.

    I contacted our ex-employee's wife and found out that they do not have a joint account, and with him not being able to sign it for himself, she has not been able to deposit the check. I asked if she had a power of attorney and she asked what that was, so I am assuming that means no.

    I want to assist any way I can, but it doesn't seem correct that I would make out the check to anyone but the ex-employee.

    What are my options and/or what advice can I give to my ex-employee's spouse?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Why can't she have him endorse the check and then she can deposit it?


    • #3
      Apparently, he is not physically/mentally able to sign the check.


      • #4
        That's a shame. Sounds like the wife has bigger legal issues to address than just this particular paycheck.

        Perhaps Patty (a payroll expert and a regular responder here) may have some ideas but all I can think of is for the wife to take the check to her husband's bank, explain the situation, and see if they will deposit it in the husband's account without his endorsement signature.


        • #5
          To be honest, my first reaction was to just tell her to forge his signature. I know for a fact that that is what my wife would do. Unfortunately, I just can't give out that kind of advice.

          I am thinking that she is going to need to go to court and get a guardian / conservator appointed. But that takes time and money. That is why I was looking for a way to get her the final paycheck in a way that she could access.
          Last edited by rileyboy; 11-18-2005, 06:49 AM.


          • #6
            That's a shame. Legally, however, you're stuck. Without a Power of Attorney or Guardianship papers, you can't really reissue it. Maybe the bank can help, but it would be sticky all the way around. Sorry I don't have any better answers there, but legally, there just aren't any.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


            • #7
              Thanks for the responses.

              Ya'll have confirmed what I already thought . . . I had hoped that I was wrong or forgetting something.

              Thanks again.


              • #8
                Delivery of wages

                Texas law provides several methods of delivery of wages, most at the option of the employer (some with agreement of the employee). It is not required to pay with a check. Cash works, as well as electronic deposit.

                Can you, as the employer, retrieve the check, and pay the employee in cash? If there is no power of atty or designation of the spouse to receive pay, this may be iffy. Can you deposit the pay to the employee's bank account? (Who has access to the funds there, if the employee is unable to sign a document?)


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