What will happen if I don’t return an overpayment made to me by my former employer?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What will happen if I don’t return an overpayment made to me by my former employer?

I worked for a company and quit. They then hired another guy with my same first name. They then accidentally sent me a payroll check 3 weeks after I left; it was my name on the “pay to” line, first and last. I cashed the check. Now they are threatening to sue me to get the money back. I’m aware that morally I should give the money back but the owner of this company is a scumbag whom I have no respect for. He also shorted me $100 on my final paycheck and when I asked him about it he didn’t have the time of day for me. I was completely ignored. However, now that the ball is in the other court the whole world is in an uproar.

Asked on November 13, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Forget morals for a moment: *legally* you have to return the money. A mistake does *not* entitle you to keep a payment; just as you would be entitled to your money back if you had accidentally sent a plumber a too-large check or duplicative check, so can your former  employer recover the amount they accidentally paid you. If you don't repay, the employer may sue you for the money--and, from what you write, they will win.

If they shorted you for $100, you also may sue them (e.g. in small claims court) for that amount, if you can prove it.


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