If a recent employer recently over paid me by direct deposit in my bank account am I obligated to pay this back?

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If a recent employer recently over paid me by direct deposit in my bank account am I obligated to pay this back?

My recent employer over paid me $5,000 and I was wondering if I was obligated to pay this back?

Asked on April 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are obligated to repay the $5,000. Someone's mistake does not give you the right to keep their money. For example, say that you had accidentally written an extra "0" on a check to a  plumber, so you paid him $5,000 instead of $500. You would be entitled to get the extra $4,500 back, since the agreement between you (whether written or oral) was $500 pay for the work--the plumber would have no right to the extra $4,500 of your. money. Similarly, you are only entitled to be paid your wage or salary; the fact that the employer accidentally paid you too much does not let you keep the extra. If you don't return it, they could sue you for it, and will presumably win; they may also terminate you.


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