What can I do if I received a check while on leave and now they want to garnish my wages to get it back?

I went on leave and did all the appropriate paperwork that I needed to on my end. However, somehow I was not on leave in the system so I was paid. Now they want to garnish my wages for a 10 week pay period which is an amount that I cannot afford. Can they do that?

Asked on May 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They cannot garnish your wages without a court judgment or order in their favor. But if you were paid when you should have have been, they can:
1) Sue you for the money, and if you were not suposed to be paid, they will win--the law is very clear that a mistake does not let you keep money to which you are not otherwise entitled. So they can get a court judgment ordering you to pay; if you don't, then they could garnish your wages.
2) Fire you for refusing to repay money to which you are not entitled.
So you very much want to work out a payment plan with them, sinc if you don't, the consequences could be worse.

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