[wiaattorneys] Re: Personal Liability for Payment of UI Taxes

  • From: "Anna Bronnenkant" <anna.bronnenkant@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <JGannon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <wiaattorneys@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 15:17:57 -0700

Dear Jack,

To the extent that any of the corporation's activities are illegal, the
officers are not protected by the corporation.  See Curtis Manufacturing
Co., Inc. v. Plasti-Clip Corp., 888 F. Supp. 1212, 1222 (D.N.H.
1994)(officers of a corporation are personally liable for tortious
conduct . . . if they personally took part in the commission of the tort
or specifically directed other officers, agents, or employees of the
corporation to commit the tortious acts. . . . Under such circumstances,
there is no need to pierce the corporate veil.)

Jurgens v. Poling Transportation  Corp. 113 F. Supp.2d. 388, 404
(E.D.N.Y.  2000) (a corporate officer who commits or participates in a
tort, even if it is in the course of his duties . . . may be held
individually liable.)

Even though the cases above dealt with tort actions, I think an
argument can be made that activity that is contrary to statute (failure
to pay unemployment insurance contributions required by law etc.)
constitutes unlawful activity that does not protect corporate officers.

Anna Bronnenkant

>>> "Jack Gannon" <JGannon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 03/10/05 09:44AM >>>
Indiana has a statute attaching personal liability to payment of UI
contributions, penalties, and training assessments under our Incumbent
Worker program.  We have not previously used this in our collections
efforts because it seems to run counter to courts' reluctance under
common law to "pierce the corporate veil" and hold officers and agents
of a corporation liable.   Can anyone offer me any guidance on this?

John L. Gannon
Staff Attorney
IN Department of Workforce Development
10 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46228
Phone: 317-232-7482
Fax:  317-233-1884



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