Dispute over my last year of pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Dispute over my last year of pay?

Beginning 2018 we switched payroll companies.
In 2017, I had been paid 1875 plus a 240 stipend for health care that was not
When we switched the new company said they could not accommodate the 240
stipend. My pay was then calculated to raise it so that when combined and taxes
were taken out I still was netting the same amount as I had been in 2017.
Now, at the end of the year my boss denies knowing of this and is wanting me to
pay back what she considers the ‘overage’. I am not sure what to do about this.
My boss never puts anything in writing, so before you ask no I do not have it
in writing. She claims she didn’t look at payroll all year and didn’t catch it
till the end of the year.

Nanci Jenkins

Asked on March 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue will come down to, if you and your boss don't work matters out and she sues for the money, whether a court believes her or you. If you were given the increase deliberately or knowingly, then even if they rethought it later, they can't take back any amounts paid you. If they never, even at the time, intended to increase your pay, but the payroll processor made a mistake, they can recover the money: an oversight or error does not let someone keep money to which they are not otherwise entitled or which should not have been paid them.
If the amount does equal (at least to a close approximation) the gross amount needed to net you, after taxes, etc., the $240 you lost when you lost the stipend--and you show evidence you formerly received the stipend--that will be powerful evidence for you: it is very unlikely that a mistake would be made coincidently working out to that amount. It is much more likely they indended to gross up your pay to compensate for losing the stipend.

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