Am I required to repay overpaid vacation time before I receive my severance package?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I required to repay overpaid vacation time before I receive my severance package?

I worked for a company who was bought out by another and decided not to relocate, so i was

offered a severance package. I’ve signed all the paperwork for the package and am awaiting

payment and in the meantime was contacted by the person responsible for payroll asking for

repayment of wages. She told me i’d been paid twice the vacation time and wanted to know how

and when i’d be paying it back. she will not tell me when i will receive my severance pay, even after I told her the money would have to come from the package. When I asked her where to send the money, she wants it addressed to her directly. How do I honestly go about getting my severance package and settling any debts with the company?

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The two claims are separate: your right to severance as per the package you agreed to is independent of their right to be repaid for a vacaction double or overpayment (and they do have the right to that repayment). They cannot hold the severance for the vacation repayment, though you and they could agree voluntarily to offset one against the other: e.g. that the severance will be reduced by the amount of overpayment you must return. This, by the way, would be the easiest and most efficient way to handle this situation.
If they won't pay your severance within the time frame indicated in the severance agreement, you could sue (e.g. in small claims court) for it. Before doing so, something seems wrong here: why does the payroll person want company money "addressed to her personally"--she may be trying to pocket your money personally. You should contact more senior management to discuss the situation--they may be unaware of what. their person is doing.

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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