Is it legit for a former employer to request me to payif they claimed they overpaid me?

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2011

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Is it legit for a former employer to request me to payif they claimed they overpaid me?

I got a letter in the mail from my former company’s audit company stating that they overpaid me in comprehensive leave (i.e. vacation days) and that I owe them a large sum of money. They sent this to me requiring payment by the end of next week or the amount increases due to taxes withheld. They required payment immediately (within 5 days of the letter). What are my rights and do I owe this money?

Asked on December 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you were truly overpaid--i.e. received money which you had not earned or were not legally entitled to--then you have to repay it; the fact that they committed an error does not entitle you to keep the money, any more than if they accidentally underpaid you, they would be allowed to not make good the shortfall.

If you do not  repay any overpayment, you could be sued.

If you were not overpaid, you don't have to return it--so if you were entitled to this, it's your money, though if they try to sue you, you have to be prepared to defend your right to it in court.

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