If an employer messes up a paycheck, should they have to take the burden or should the employee?

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If an employer messes up a paycheck, should they have to take the burden or should the employee?

Last week my employer accidentally took money that is supposed to go into my tax free HSA account and added it to my wage. This week my employer deducted the money from this weeks pay check to put into the HSA for last weeks mix up. If you average my two pay checks, it comes out to 50 dollars less a week than my usual pay, however for the company it came out the same. So shouldn’t they bare the burden since they messed up instead of me? The lost money came from getting it taxed the first time since it added to my pay.

Asked on August 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if the employer made an error that actually costs an employee money, the employer would be liable for that cost. However, in this case, the error has likely not cost you anything--if you paid more in taxes (had more withheld) one week than should have, that should be reflected in your total end-of-year tax burden (or refund). If at the end of the year, you come out to the same place in total taxes paid, you did not suffer a loss for which the law offers compensation.


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