Is my employer legally able to take money from my bank account without my consent or knowledge?

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Is my employer legally able to take money from my bank account without my consent or knowledge?

I was cut my last check from my employer and was overpaid by 16 hours. My employer proceeded by removing the full check amount from my bank account which in turn overdrafted my account. What do I do?

Asked on February 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, you do nothing, assuming that you agree you were overpaid by the amount they say and they do pay your your appropriate wage or salary for that pay period.
Yes, they were wrong to take the money out without your consent: employers may only take money from employee pay with employee consent or a court order (such as for wage garnishment). 
But you have no right to keep an overpayment; an error resulting in overpayment does not entitle you to the money and it must be returned. 
Therefore, if you were to sue them for improperly taking the money from your account, they can (and presumably will) countersue for the overpayment and you will net out to the same place economically.


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