My employer died Friday. Payroll is in question. What steps do I need to take NOW?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My employer died Friday. Payroll is in question. What steps do I need to take NOW?

The owner of the LLC I work for died Friday. Now attorneys are telling our his
daughter our Executive Assistant HR officer that she is no longer to have any
communication with the banks. Payroll is in question for tomorrow, and we worked
this week I have a week worth of vacation that are also in question. What do I
need to do right now?

Asked on October 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There may be little you can do right now: if the daughter did not have the proper authority (e.g. check signing authority) for the company, she legally cannot pay you right now. Instead, if the business was not set up with a succession plan or for continuity after the owner died, someone (probably the daughter or the owner's spouse, if there is one) will have to be appointed the estate's "personal representative" (executor or administrator) with authority over estate assets, including the LLC, and the responsibility to pay its debts; at that point, if there is sufficient money in the LLC (which there may not be, if its operations stop), they should be able to pay payroll. The problem is, even though there is a legal obligation to pay employees, that can only happen if there are assets to pay them and someone with the requisite legal authority to access them. You can and should monitor the situation and keep trying to communicate, but you have to resign yourself to the unpleasant fact that this could take long, and there is a chance you will never get the money owed you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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