What doIdo if I received an overpayment from my employer but I cannot pay it back all at once?

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What doIdo if I received an overpayment from my employer but I cannot pay it back all at once?

I used to work for a national retailer and upon termination they gave me my number of weeks pay in cash. However I was scheduled to be paid the next day and the company was supposed to go on the computer and change my scheduled pay date to already paid.  It did not do this until after the scheduled pay date; now they want the money back in full. I am currently still unemployed and cannot pay this back. I am willing to pay back half of the amount and I have tried to contact the company to make agreements and arrangement’s to pay off, but they were uncooperative.  What can I do?

Asked on February 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since you were not entitled to that money, you have to, as you know, pay it back. They have a right to demand repayment in full immediately. You don't way whether you offered to pay back half now and create a payment schedule for the rest, which would get it paid off in reasonable time, or where offering to only pay half, period. While they don't have to agree to either, the former has a better chance of being agreed to than the latter.

If you and the employer can't agree regarding payment, they can sue you; if they sue you, they will most likely win (unless there is some reason you are entitled to that money) and that point, if you don't pay, could look to put a lien on or execute against property, garnish a bank account or wages (if you are then employed, etc). If the amount is relatively small, it may not be worth them doing this, but they would have the right.


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