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

UPDATED: Feb 4, 2019

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

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 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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