Exemployer withdrew money from my bank account because they overpaid me. Is this legal ?

My daughter worked for ADT and quit with proper notice. She received a letter from
them saying that they overpaid her and she owes them over 600. They withdrew
200. Two times from your bank account Without her permission. Is this legal?
She was being paid by direct deposit.

Asked on May 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal, unless your daughter had signed some agreement allowing them to take money out of her account. (Though if the payment was not settled yet, they could advise the bank that the payment was incorrect and then give the bank the correct amount to depsosit--in some situations, that could look like a withdrawal, if the higher amount were initially shown though the transaction was not yet settled. But if the payment had been settled, then no--the bank could not withdraw money.)
However, there really isn't much to do about this situation: to get the money back, your daughter would have to take legal action against her employer (for example, file a small claims suit); if she does, they could in turn bring a claim against her for the overpayment (since if she was overpaid, she is not allowed to keep it--the law requires the return of overpayments), which could net out against the amount she is seeking, so she'd end up in the same place financially. The process used by the employer was wrong, but the outcome, if your daughter was overpaid by that amount, is correct.

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