Can my company make me payback wages if they say that I was overpaid?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my company make me payback wages if they say that I was overpaid?

My company says I was overpaid over the last 12 months when I went from a day driver to a night shuttle driver and want me to payback the difference. When I made the shift change no one ever informed me that it was not a lateral move and there was a difference in pay. I have never signed anything letting me know there was a difference in pay and even checked the handbook to see if shows as a pay difference and no almost a year later my company informs

me there is a difference and I have to pay it back. Can they do this and how was I supposed to know there was a pay difference if it is not posted on the job description and was never informed?

Asked on November 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An employee can be made to pay back an accidental overpayment. The fact is that you did not earn this money. For you to be allowed to keep it would constitute an "unjust enrichment". And when you think about it, having to pay back your employer makes sense; if you were accidentally underpaid you would have a legal right to collect the shortage.

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