If my previous employer paid me too much, what are my options?

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If my previous employer paid me too much, what are my options?

My previous employer is demanding money back after they paid into my vacation fund without deducting it from my check. Under my contract, they are supposed to take 7% of my check and put it into a vacation fund. They did not take out the 7%, but paid into my account anyway. How do I find out if what they are saying is correct? I do not have any of my old check stubs.

Asked on May 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were overpaid, you have to repay it; an administrative or similar errror does not create any right or entitlement in you to the money. So just as if they had accidentally taken out 14%, you could get the other 7% back, if they took out 0%, you have to return the 7% they should have taken.

You can and should ask for the documentation of their claim, but they do not need to provide it at this stage. If they refuse to provide it--or they provide documentation, but you find it unpersuasive--your only option is to not pay, see if the employer sue you for the money, then defend against the lawsuit; in the course of the lawsuit, you would have access to legal mechanisms or processes, called "discovery," that would let you get access to documents and testimony. Alternately, you may elect to pay the amount to avoid the potential costs of litigation.


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