overpayment

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overpayment

I paid my nanny for the month and the very next day she did something that
caused me to question her authenticity and i subsequently canceled our
agreement. I requested that she refund the money to me minus the hours she
had worked. She refuses to do so.

Asked on August 13, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't get the money back if she was ready, willing, and available for  work and you terminated her because you "questioned her authenticity," unless what she did was so bad (stealing from you; endangering your children; not showing up for work when she was supposed to; etc.) that it would be considered essentially a breach of contract on her part: i.e. a violation of the obligations of being a nanny. When you paid her in advance, you in essence entered into an oral agreement or contract with her: "I will pay you this money for you to work as nanny for the next month." So long as she was  honoring her obligations, even if you decided you no longer wanted her as nanny, she is entitled to keep the money, because you can only get the money back for her breach of that agreement. When two parties contract, if A is doing what she is supposed to, B cannot get the money back from A.
If you feel that what she did rose to the level of being such a breach, then you could sue her for the money: you'd have to prove in court the nature and severity of her breach.


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