What to do if I was overpaid due to an accounting error?

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What to do if I was overpaid due to an accounting error?

Now they are asking for the money back and asking for more than I can give.

Asked on December 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have to repay the money. An error does not give the right to the money, any more than a store would have the right to overcharge you if the cashier added up your purchases incorrectly. You are only entitled to receive the amount of wages or salary you were working for--no more. Since you do not have a right to the overpayment, the employer can ask for it back, and they do not have to take into consideration whether you can afford it or not. (In the future, if you believe you may have been overpaid--that is, you were paid more than you expected--do not spend the money; keep it in a bank account until you find out whether you can keep it or not--that way, you can return it if you need to).

Try to work out a payment plan with your employer they will agree to and you can afford. Bear in mind that they have the right to ask for it all at once, and could even sue you if you don't pay it (you may be fired as well), so try very hard to come up with something they will find acceptable.

 


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