What are my rights if I started a new job and last week my boss said the offer letter was incorrect so they’ve been overpaying me and would like me to pay back the discrepancy?

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What are my rights if I started a new job and last week my boss said the offer letter was incorrect so they’ve been overpaying me and would like me to pay back the discrepancy?

I started 2 months ago and accepted this job based upon the offer letter I received. I am assuming they cannot now change the terms but am not sure how to proceed. This is a sales position which offers base salary, plus commission.

Asked on May 5, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A valid contract requires an offer and acceptance as occurred here.  The valid contract also requires consideration (doing the work in exchange for payment).

You can argue that a valid contract was formed on the stated terms.  When there is a mistake made by a party to the contract, if the other party did not know of the mistake, the contract is enforced on the stated terms against the mistaken party.  In other words, you have a valid contract based on the amount of pay you accepted in the offer and you are not obligated to pay back the additional amount that was paid to you by your employer's mistake.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written about and given the two month track record of payments to you, you are entitled to the current rate of pay regardless of any claims of mistake by your employer. If your employer tries to change your rate of pay, I suggest consulting with a labor law attorney in your locality and/or with the Department of Labor. Such an attorney in your locality can be found on attorneypages.com.


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