If I was terminated and 11 months later received a bill for $800 saying I was overpaid, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Aug 10, 2012

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If I was terminated and 11 months later received a bill for $800 saying I was overpaid, what are my rights?

This company is very large but poorly managed and I don’t just want to send them a check. I’m a graduate student and very poor. I would want to request a record of their direct deposits to me and a copy of my contract to match up to my W2 and bank statements. I wanted to give my accountant this paperwork have her match it up and then have her bill them since this is their error. Also, I wanted to understand where this error originated from. I want to know who is responsible at what level it occurred. Can I do this?

Asked on August 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, bear in mind that responsibility does not matter--even if it was completely the company's fault, if you were overpaid, you have to return the money; you have no right to it, since an accident or error does not give one the right to money or property. If you do not repay, you could be sued.

You could request the documentation. If they don't provide it, you have decide whether you are willing to take the chance of being sued. If they do sue you, you will be able to get the documents in the course of the lawsuit, but will have the cost and distraction of defending yourself. That said, if they sue you, they will only prevail if they can show you were in fact overpaid.  The other option would be to pay the amount they're looking for and avoid litigation.

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