Am I legally responsible to repay an overpayment by my former employer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I legally responsible to repay an overpayment by my former employer?

My former employer I voluntarily resigned sent me a letter that they overpaid me

by over $900 and I need to repay it within 7 days or they will turn me over to a

collection agency. When I called to find out how it happened and exactly what was

overpaid, no one was available to answer my question and they said they would

have to call me back, which they have not done yet.

Asked on August 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, an employee is responsible to repay for accidental overpayment made by their employer. The fact is that if a worker does not earn the money received, the law will not allow them to enjoy what is known as an "unjust enrichment". Frankly, when you think about it this makes sense. For example, if you were accidentally underpaid, your employer would be liable to make up any shortfall in your wages.

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 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.

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