If over paid one week can a employer take your check the following week without your permission

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If over paid one week can a employer take your check the following week without your permission

Last week I was over paid. My
employer cut me two checks instead of
one. New Link Destination
day is Payday and I check my
account and he didn’t pay me so
basically took my money. Please let me

Asked on September 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, he legally cannot deduct without your permission (or a court order, such as for wage garnishment). But it is  not likely worthwhile filing a complaint or taking legal action:
1) He did not "take your money"--you admit you were paid an extra check last week, so you were paid the money in advance. The fact the cut you an extra check by mistake does NOT entitle you to that money--the extra pay is not yours. The law specifically says a mistake creates not right to money. So again, all that happened is that you were paid early.
2)  Therefore, if you try to take legal action for this, the employer can truthfully point to the fact that you have already been paid the money; this is an absolute defense in a lawsuit, and would most likely result in a complaint to the labor department being thrown out, too, despite the employer's technical violation of the law.
3) Your employer may terminate you for any time, for any reason, if you don't have a written contract protecting you: if you take action over this, then because the action is essentially baseless or groundless (since you were mistakenly paid in advance), he may then legally terminate you, costing you your job.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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