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

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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. Today is Payday and I check my
account and he didn’t pay me so
basically took my money. Please let me
know

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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