Do I have to pay back a paycheck that I received by accident?

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Do I have to pay back a paycheck that I received by accident?

I was fired but the company, due to some sort of administrative error, paid me for a week after I was fired. It came through as direct deposit. I only received $287 out of around $450 after taxes and child support. They are now saying that I have to pay them back the whole $450 is this legal? I don’t have the money due to being fired. I do have the $287 which I am more than happy to give it back. What do I do ?

Asked on September 1, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, yes you do need to repay this money - even if it was their mistake. If they had underpaid you due to your fault (i.e. if you mistakenly listed less hours than you actually worked), they would need to make good the shortfall. In the same way you must return this overpayment. You owed your child support regardless; to the extent that you overpaid taxes you can possibly claim a tax refund when you next file your income taxe return.

Note: It would however be reasonable for you to ask for a re-payment plan over time, since it was initially the company's error and you're out of work.


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