CHICAGO (CBS) — Small business owners and some employees were left high and dry after a payroll company closed without warning recently.
Now, there is an investigation into how it happened. CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke to one local business owner who could be out thousands.
“I feel taken advantage of,” said Lisa Wilder. “I trusted them, you know, being a small business owner.”
Wilder employees 32 people. She is the franchise owner of fitness classes for moms.
“That’s kind of bit above my paygrade, so I looked to outsource doing payroll,” she said.
Clifton Park, New York-based based MyPayrollHR handled the business end for Wilder, cutting the checks for her staff and roughly 4,000 other small businesses across the country.
In other words, it was supposed to make Wilder’s life easier.
“It has, for the most part, up until a week ago,” she said.
The company unexpectedly closed – communicating only through an email late last week.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are no longer able to provide payroll services. Please find another way to pay your employees,” Wilder paraphrased.
That left her scrambling to try and pay her employees.
“I already had the taxes for this payroll withdrawn from my business account, and all of my employees were expecting their direct deposits the very next morning,” Wilder said. “The next day was pay day. It’s upwards of $3,000.”
Nobody answered when CBS 2 called MyPayrollHR.
“It makes me nervous, like, to trust other companies,” Wilder said.
Wilder did get the money to all of her employees she has filed a complaint with the FBI. Some other businesses saw their checks withdrawn from their accounts
New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also opened up an investigation.
I am calling on @NYDFS to investigate the sudden and disturbing shutdown of MyPayrollHR in Clifton Park.
The company’s reckless actions have left employees across the state with negative bank accounts. They deserve answers. pic.twitter.com/26HWy3XHKS
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 6, 2019
“The sudden and unexplained shutdown of MyPayrollHR in Clifton Park is disturbing and completely unacceptable. Its reckless actions have left employees across the state and the nation with negative bank accounts and forced businesses who depend on its payroll services to scramble to find ways to compensate their employees,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Cuomo said he will work with his state’s Department of Financial Services to investigate MyPayrollHR’s actions.
Cuomo said consumers who believe they may have been affected are urged to file a complaint at www.dfs.ny.gov/complaint or to call (212) 480-6400 or (800) 342-3736 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Chicago time Monday through Friday.