If an employer mistakingly pays you a benefit, are you responsible for repayment?

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If an employer mistakingly pays you a benefit, are you responsible for repayment?

My employer told me that starting March of this year, I would no longer be
getting an additional commuter benefit that I had been receiving. Also in
March I switched to salary.
I was just notified that I have actually still been receiving that benefit for the
past 4 months and they are now telling me I have to pay back the 1,000.

Am I responsible for a mistake that they made on their end?

Asked on August 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are responsible for repayment. In the law there is something known as "unjust enrichment". Basically, this means that a person cannot benefit from the mistake of another; it would be unfair. And think about it, if you not been given a benefit that you were owed, you would have a case. At this point, you can try to work out a repayment plan. If you don't, then you could be sued by your ex-employer, also you'll risk losing a good reference in the future .

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are responsible for repayment. In the law there is something known as "unjust enrichment". Basically, this means that a person cannot benefit from the mistake of another; it would be unfair. And think about it, if you not been given a benefit that you were owed, you would have a case. At this point, you can try to work out a repayment plan. If you don't, then you could be sued by your ex-employer, also you'll risk losing a good reference in the future.


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