What is my husband’s obligation regarding a wage overpayment?

My husband started a new job 8 months ago. He agreed to 43,000 a year when he was hired. Upon revieving his first check it was twice the amount. He went to his boss, the one who hired him and told him about his check. His boss told him,

Asked on March 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While a true clerical or accounting error does not entitle you to keep money, if his boss told him that he had a raise or that was his pay, then he does not have to return it. That's the law...as a practical matter, obviously, if you have nothing in writing, you may have difficulty proving this based on only your husband's own testimony. Still, if you had not agreed to repay it, you could have tried fighting your obligation to repay--for example, if faced with having to testify in court under oath, the old boss might have chosen to tell the truth. However, if you agreed to repay the money and to a repayment plan, you acknowledged or admitted owing it and have to repay.
However, if you and the company agreed to a repayment plan, that plan binds them as well as you. As long as you are honoring your obligations under the repayment agreement, they cannot force you to change it or to pay other than as you have already agreed to. You should be able to keep paying as you and they agreed.
And yes...if you needed to, this is the kind of unsecured, non-priority debt or obligation that bankruptcy works on, so filing for bankruptcy is an option.

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