Can my former employer, a bank, freeze my bank account, claiming I was overpaid

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my former employer, a bank, freeze my bank account, claiming I was overpaid

I recently quit working for a bank and
started a new job. I still have an
account at that bank, which is where my
last check was deposited on 04/15. On
04/24, they froze my funds. My former
manager claims I was overpaid, so they
froze the funds. Is this legal? If my
check from my new job is deposited, can
they just take it? I was never told I
was overpaid or even how much, they
just froze my account. HR has not
responded to my emails. I am at work
while they are open, so I cannot just
stop by. Please help

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless you signed a document that allowed this action or it was permitted under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, this action is illegal. This doesn't mean that you don't owe the money (the fact is that you do any overpayments), it's just means that without a court order your bank account cannot be frozen and monies seized. If your former employer wants the turn of the overpayment, it must either work out an repayment agreement with you or sue you in court.

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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