Don't HR Alone #18 - Employee Theft Question and Fed Raises Interest Rates

June 15, 2017

 

Question: We had an employee walk off the job after admitting to stealing money and property from the workplace. She has not returned to pick up her last paycheck. What is our obligation regarding her last paycheck?

 

Answer: Regardless of the theft, you cannot withhold pay from a current or terminated employee. You are required to make every attempt to deliver the final paycheck in a timely manner and can mail her final pay to her last known address. If the check is not processed or is returned, then mail the unclaimed wages along with an explanation to the nearest labor commission office or governmental agency office that handles such issues in your state. It’s important that you document in detail all your actions and efforts to deliver the wages earned to the former employee along with the former employee’s reactions or lack thereof.If you have not already done so, follow your normal termination of employment process. Notify her that when she admitted her theft of company property and walked off the job, you concluded that she voluntarily terminated her employment. Inform her that under wage and hour rules, the company must ensure final pay is provided. You could also tell her whether you plan to press charges through the proper legal channels for the recovery of any money or property she stole.Of note, employers are not required by federal law to give former employees their final paycheck immediately. Some states, however, may require immediate payment, so check your state rule to ensure that you meet the requirements for handling this final paycheck.


Fed Raises Interest Rates

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in May indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have moderated but have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has picked up in recent months, and business fixed investment has continued to expand. On a 12-month basis, inflation has declined recently and, like the measure excluding food and energy prices, is running somewhat below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee's 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1 to 1-1/4 percent. 

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