Can an employer fire you because they overpaid?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer fire you because they overpaid?

After 1.5 months, was noticed that paychecks were too much. Willing to pay back
what is owed. This happened to approx 8 people. Company wants to fire them. What
can be done as employees are willing to work with the company and pay back but
company blames them for their mistake. Paystubs are also severely elusive and
cannot be figured out.

Asked on January 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless dismissing you and your co-workers would violate an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement, your company can fire you all. Most employmnt is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This inlcudes who, when and why to discharge an employee. In fact, a worker can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all.

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