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I was supposedly overpaid for a time period. I was informed by text message. I never received or even saw any paperwork on the matter. 2 pay periods later the money was taken from my check without my knowledge or permission. What can I do
Asked on April 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
You can file a complaint with the department of labor or sue (e.g. in small claims court) for the money, because an employer may NOT take money from your paycheck without your consent or as required by law (e.g. court- or IRS-ordered wage garnishment). However, bear in mind, that even though they can't unilaterally take money from your paycheck, if you were in fact overpaid, they *are* entitled to the money back: the law is clear that overpaying someone by mistake does not let them keep the money. Therefore, they could, for example, sue you for the overpayment, if you were actually overpaid; they could also legally terminate you for refusing to return an overpayment. So if the overpayment is true, you will not be able to keep the money or will face other consequences if they want, so you may wish to not fight this.