What are my rights if when I went on maternity leave but was mistakenly paid my full salary because my former manager resigned while I was on leave and never turned in the proper paperwork?

I found a new job while on leave and my former company is requesting I pay back the extra they paid me during leave since I was only supposed to get a smaller percentage. Am I legally obligated to pay them back even though they made the accounting mistake?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have to repay the money: an accounting mistake does not entitle you to keep it. If you were supposed to be paid a smaller amount, that's all you had a right to receive and must return anything over that. Just as a plumber would have to return your overpayment is you accidentally wrote him a check for $700.00 instead of $100 (if you'd mis-read the "1" on the invoice as a "7"), so you do have to return the overpayment in this case. If you do not, they could sue you for the money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.