If I was overpaid in error by employer, do I have to payit back?

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If I was overpaid in error by employer, do I have to payit back?

While suspended from work without pay. I was paid $1,120.70 in error. Now that I have been terminated and am no longer employed with the company they want me to pay them back. They sent me a letter saying that its there error but that it’s still my responsibility to return the funds as specified in the overpayment recovery policy.

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unfortunately, you do need to repay it. An error does not create an entitlement to keep money. For example, if the company had accidentally underpaid you, they'd need to make good the shortfall; their error would not let them keep it. Or if you filled out the wrong bank account information on a direct deposit form, so the money went to some other person, that other person would have to return it and could not keep it. Similarly, when you are overpaid by mistake, you have to return the money. It would be fair and reasonable for them to get you a few weeks or  months to pay it back, since it was their fault, but they are certainly entitled to recover this accidental overpayment from you, even if it was caused by their own error or mistake.


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