If I was permanently laid off and received 2 weeks pay but was only supposed to get 1 week’s pay, am I legally required to return the overpayment?

I was 1 week into a 2 week pay period. I was told no severance would be provided, however I received a full 2 weeks pay so assumed severance was provided. The employer has now come back requesting the 1 week’s pay, claiming error.

Asked on November 13, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to repay an overpayment to which you were not entitled--as you evidently know you were not entitled, since you wrote that you were "only supposed to get 1 week's pay." A mistake by your former employer does not entitle you to the money; people and businesses can recover (or get back) accidental overpayments, and if you don't voluntarily repay it, they could sue you for the money.

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