Wages, sick leave, annual leave, or other benefits due a deceased employee may be paid to the surviving spouse, provided that no divorce proceeding is pending (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 9:1515). An amendment to the law removed a provision limiting payment to a $6,000 maximum. If there is no surviving spouse, or if either spouse has instituted a divorce proceeding, the last wages and benefits may be paid to an adult child without waiting for legal proceedings or orders.
Before making the payment, the employer must require the recipient to sign, in the presence of two witnesses, a document giving the name, address, and date and place of death of the deceased employee; the relationship of the person requesting the payment; and the name and address of the surviving spouse or children, if any. The employer then must send an affidavit giving the name of the employee, the name of the recipient, and the amount of the payment along with a copy of the document signed by the recipient to the Department of Revenue within 10 calendar days of the payment (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 9:1515).
An employer who follows these steps will be released from the obligation for the amount paid and for all inheritance taxes that may be determined to be due. No person will have any right or cause of action against the employer because of such payment.