Can an employer demand funds returned for a clerical error?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer demand funds returned for a clerical error?

Through what I assume was a clerical error, I was overpaid for about a month. This was last year about 6 months ago. Now they are coming back and demanding that I repay them. Also, they technically breached my contract when they went from paying bi-weekly to paying us once a week and skipping a paycheck. My contract specifically states that I am to be paid bi-weekly. Do I have any rights here?

Asked on March 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your contract was breached is a seperate issue; it has nothing to do regarding the overpayment. The fact is that the law disfavors "unjust enrichment". In this case, your keeping money that you did not earn. Accordingly, you are obligated to repay your former employer. And think about it, if you had accidentally been underpaid, your employer would be obligated to pay you the difference.

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