If you have been accused of payroll fraud, what are your rights as an employee?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If you have been accused of payroll fraud, what are your rights as an employee?

If you have admitted to the fraud. What can or will the organization do or can they do to the employee? If they wish to keep lawyers and or the police out of it how then does the case get resolved?

Asked on August 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Vermont


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1 Unless you have a written employment contract which, by its terms, does not allow termination in a situation like this for example, does not allow termination without some hearing or formal discriplinary process and/or evidence, the employer can simply fire the employee, since without an employment contract, all employees are "employees at will" and may be fired at any time, for any reason--including an accusation of fraud. There is no right to avoid termination absent the protections of a contract.
Similarly, they could ask the employee to resign on pain of being fired the employee does not have to comply, and could choose to be fired, but resigning may afford a more graceful way out.
2 They could also instead of or in addition look to settle the matter by entering into an agreement with the employee where he or she will repay any/all amounts improperly taken or obtained. Such an agreement could call for repayment at once or over time--it's up to whatever the employer and employee mutually agree to.
3 And while you question asks about what the employer could do if they want to keep police and lawyers out of it, the employer would have the right, if it choose to report the matter to the police and/or to sue the employee.

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