What to do if I was paid by mistake by my company while under FMLA leave for a month due to my second back surgery this year?

I returned to work last week and now my District Manager came to see me today and informed me that they will not be paying me while I am working for the next 2 pay periods or 1 month’ pay. I am a salaried General Manager. Is this legal to not pay me anything versus just taking a percentage?

Asked on July 21, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you were overpaid--which includes paying you money during a time when you should not have been paid--you have to return it. That said, the company cannot unilaterally (without your consent) take a percentage OR force you to work for free; if you and they cannot work out a payment arrangement, their only legal option is to sue you for the money--though they would also be well within their rights to fire you "for cause" (which means no unemployment benefits) for refusing to return company money to which you are entitled. Therefore, it is very much in your interest to try to work out a mutually agreeable payment plan with them.

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