If I was unknowingly overpaid by my employer, can they take the money back? If so, can it be returned in installments?

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If I was unknowingly overpaid by my employer, can they take the money back? If so, can it be returned in installments?

My company just switched over the payroll system. There have been a few hiccups
along the way, and after I was paid I was told that they had me at the wrong
payrate. I did not know my payrate was incorrect before the check was deposited
into my account. Now they want the over payment to be returned. If it lawfully
has to be returned, am I able to request to do this in installments? It would be
hard for me to return this in a large lump sum.

Asked on July 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An employee is legally liable to repay an accidental overpayment madeiby thier employer. The fact is that they did not earn the money so the law will not allow then to enjoy an "unjust enrichment". Think about it, if you were accidentally underrpaid, your employer would be responsible to make up the short fall. As for paying in installments, that will have to be something for you an your employer to work out.


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