Can an employer adjust a termination check after it’s been recieved and cashed by an employee?

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Can an employer adjust a termination check after it’s been recieved and cashed by an employee?

Check and termination took place last week. Check was cashed immediately after leaving the meeting and 2 days later the check cashing store called me stating the check was invalid (cancelled). Manager notified me after the check was cashed that check was inaccurate (overpaid). Now I am forced to pay a $50 fee for the bounced check which began $224.74 and I’ve returned the money to the check cashing store at the final payment of $274.74. Do iIhave a small claims suit against the business? I was under the impression that in my state the check presented at termination is a final agreement.

Asked on October 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, if there was an error and you were overpaid, the employer could stop pay or cancel the check, or alternately request repayment of the overpaid amount from you and, if necessary, sue you for the overpayment if you do not return it.

However, on the other hand, if the employer's error cost you any charges, losses, or fees, like the bounced check fee, they should reimburse you, and you could sue them for those costs or losses (e.g. in small claims court) if you wanted. Note that you are only entitled to 1) what the final check *should*  have been, if it had been calculated accurately--assuming you have not otherwise received this amount; and 2) your bounced check fee and other costs; you can't recover the overpayment itself.


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