IF MY JOB OVERPAYS ME AND I NOTIFY THEM, CAN THEY GARNISH MY WAGES FOR REPAYMENT?

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IF MY JOB OVERPAYS ME AND I NOTIFY THEM, CAN THEY GARNISH MY WAGES FOR REPAYMENT?

I WORK FOR THE CITY. I HAVE BEEN THERE FOR ABOUT 10 MONTHS. I JUST NOTICED THAT THEY HAVE BEEN OVER PAYING ME SINCE THE BEGINNING, SO I INFORMED THEM. NOW THEY ARE ACTING LIKE I WAS STEALING FROM THEM ON PURPOSE. THEY WANT TO GARNISH MY WAGES TO PAY FOR THE AMOUNT OWED. THEY WON’T EVEN ADMIT THEY MADE A MISTAKE WITH THE PAYROLL. THEY SAY I OWE THEM $10,000. CAN I FIGHT THIS?

Asked on March 28, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can certainly fight it but understand you probably signed something saying if there is overpayment, you must pay them back.  However, most states cannot require you to pay it back all at once and in some states you are absolutely responsible since the mistake should have been caught by you within the first few wage checks. You need to research with your state's department of labor of the specifics to ensure the company is paid without making too much of a gap in your income flow for your expenses. At some point, you would also need to check into a statute of limitations limitation (ie, they might be precluded if they do not attempt to collect within a certain amount of time).  In Florida, it appears your employer has three years to collect from you but consider that you may be able to come up with a payment plan suitable for all. Keep in mind, the employer cannot collect interest from you on those monies. They take the hit on the interest lost.


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