If my employer overpaid me and is asking for the money back via cashier’s check or a money order in 1 lump sum, is this legal?

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2015

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2015Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my employer overpaid me and is asking for the money back via cashier’s check or a money order in 1 lump sum, is this legal?

This sum of money is more than my monthly income.

Asked on August 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you were overpaid, your employer is legally entitled to get the money back--even if it was their mistake (since, mistake or not, you did not earn or otherwise have any legal entitlement to the money). If you do not repay it voluntarily the way they want you to, they could sue you; so if don't repay it as they want, you have to be prepared that you could face a lawsuit. You could also be terminated if you do not have a written employment contract protecting your employment or otherwise limited the reasons you could be terminated, since if you do not have an employment contract, you are an "employee at will" and may be fired at any time for any reason.

In the future, if paid more than you think you should be, deposit the extra money in a savings account and do not touch it until you determine that it is yours to keep; that way, if you must return, you can.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption