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Wage Overpayment

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  • Dec 6th, 2017 8:39 pm
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Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2075 posts
349 upvotes
Toronto
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:07 pm
An amount that is very insignificant to them, and relatively more significant to me, although either way not something that would necessarily break the bank. Three figures. Keep in mind the total amount is a lot more since they deducted from my final pay as well.

To be honest, this is more for the principle of the matter. I also gave three weeks notice instead of 2, to be nice and help them, even though my new employer wanted me to start ASAP.
You giving them three weeks notice instead of two just means you being nice, and your choice. If they've overpaid you and just let it be, they want to play nice. However, I think they are legally allowed to get their money back if it's a mistake.
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Mar 23, 2008
4899 posts
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Edmonton
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:07 pm
An amount that is very insignificant to them, and relatively more significant to me, although either way not something that would necessarily break the bank. Three figures. Keep in mind the total amount is a lot more since they deducted from my final pay as well.

To be honest, this is more for the principle of the matter. I also gave three weeks notice instead of 2, to be nice and help them, even though my new employer wanted me to start ASAP.
You don't have to justify it to us; we're not the ones that are going to make a decision on it. Although your "reasons in principle" are also irrelevant.

The cases cited in the link you gave were also much more grievous errors on the part of the employer (IMHO). Like incorrectly advising an employee of the amount of holiday time they had, and then demanding pay-back the employee took that time off. Or 4 years of over-payment. Or trying to recover overpaid vacation credits after 11 years. So if you would have gone to your employer back in January and told them you thought you were being over-paid, and they looked into it and told you that it was all correct, then you might have a case. Or like I said, if they were coming back to you 18 months after you quit your job to try to recover the money then, then you might have a case. As it is, to me it doesn't seem unreasonable for them to try to recover the money.

They very well may decide it's not worth pursuing, and you can try to gamble on that. How much will they spend trying to recover "three figures" worth of overpayment? You could also gamble that you could successfully cite some of those cases if you were taken to court. Worst case scenario, they sue you and the court tells you to pay them back. You would hopefully not be obligated to pay their legal fees even if you lost (but there's no guarantees there, either).

C
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2017
22 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:20 pm
You don't have to justify it to us; we're not the ones that are going to make a decision on it. Although your "reasons in principle" are also irrelevant.

The cases cited in the link you gave were also much more grievous errors on the part of the employer (IMHO). Like incorrectly advising an employee of the amount of holiday time they had, and then demanding pay-back the employee took that time off. Or 4 years of over-payment. Or trying to recover overpaid vacation credits after 11 years. So if you would have gone to your employer back in January and told them you thought you were being over-paid, and they looked into it and told you that it was all correct, then you might have a case. Or like I said, if they were coming back to you 18 months after you quit your job to try to recover the money then, then you might have a case. As it is, to me it doesn't seem unreasonable for them to try to recover the money.

They very well may decide it's not worth pursuing, and you can try to gamble on that. How much will they spend trying to recover "three figures" worth of overpayment? You could also gamble that you could successfully cite some of those cases if you were taken to court. Worst case scenario, they sue you and the court tells you to pay them back. You would hopefully not be obligated to pay their legal fees even if you lost (but there's no guarantees there, either).

C
Everything you've said is fair.

That being said, I'm still trying to find definitively whether or not I'm legally obligated to pay it back. I guess I'll have to call and find out.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:24 pm
Everything you've said is fair.

That being said, I'm still trying to find definitively whether or not I'm legally obligated to pay it back. I guess I'll have to call and find out.
Let us know how it goes. Your idea of letting go of your last cheque but not having to cough up any extra amount as well isn't an unreasonable compromise (to me). Just be careful not to admit any overpayment if you discuss things with the company, if possible.

C
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
8461 posts
1392 upvotes
i would do nothing and say nothing and wait for the demand letter to come in the mail, if they even bother sending one.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2017
22 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:31 pm
Let us know how it goes. Your idea of letting go of your last cheque but not having to cough up any extra amount as well isn't an unreasonable compromise (to me). Just be careful not to admit any overpayment if you discuss things with the company, if possible.

C

True.

They actually sent me a whole document, and at the bottom, it asks for my signature "acknowledging" that I owe them money.

I'm going to wait this one out and see what happens. Maybe consult with an employment lawyer friend of mine in the meantime.

This particular company has been getting some pretty bad press lately, so hopefully they don't want to draw any more attention to themselves.
Member
Aug 31, 2017
222 posts
53 upvotes
Just wait until the Government Pheonix system mess gets sorted out, I'm sure there will be many people in this situation.
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Jan 31, 2006
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Toronto
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 4th, 2017 1:24 pm
Everything you've said is fair.

That being said, I'm still trying to find definitively whether or not I'm legally obligated to pay it back. I guess I'll have to call and find out.
If I were you I will not call instead I will wait for them to send me a demand to pay back. They have to provide evidence that you are indeed overpaid. Calling them is equal to admitting you are indeed overpaid.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4219 posts
709 upvotes
I think you don't need the law to resolve this issue. If you've been overpaid the right thing to do is to pay them back. So the first thing you should establish is if overpayment indeed occurred.

Now I understand it sucks to be suddenly short of money. For that, maybe you can negotiate a time frame for pay back? I think this is fair.

Lastly, how much were you overpaid? It must not be a small amount to you if you bother to bring it up.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2017
22 posts
BananaHunter wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 12:56 pm
I think you don't need the law to resolve this issue. If you've been overpaid the right thing to do is to pay them back. So the first thing you should establish is if overpayment indeed occurred.

Now I understand it sucks to be suddenly short of money. For that, maybe you can negotiate a time frame for pay back? I think this is fair.

Lastly, how much were you overpaid? It must not be a small amount to you if you bother to bring it up.
I'll be honest, the amount isn't my issue. It's the principle. They are a very large company, and are known for paying significantly under market value, overworking their staff, and just not a great place to work overall (which is why I left).

When I announced my departure, I helped them out as much as I could by providing an extra week's notice, and giving them a personal referral for my replacement (which they ended up hiring).

To top it all off, this was a clerical error on their end, which went on for almost a year.

I get that "legally" I might be required to pay it back..but i'm just not very motivated to do so, given the past history and circumstances (although I get that doesn't necessarily have any bearing on anyone but me).

I wish there was a way I can tell them to "screw off" , that was legally sound as well lol.
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2075 posts
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Toronto
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 1:06 pm
I'll be honest, the amount isn't my issue. It's the principle. They are a very large company, and are known for paying significantly under market value, overworking their staff, and just not a great place to work overall (which is why I left).
Using money that isn't yours is considered stealing, even if you didn't intentionally withdrew it yourself. Being paid under market value is your choice, and you don't have to sign the contract if you had other offers in front of you. Your logic is really flawed.

Jason: "Hey Leon, I'm going to get a coffee, you want me to get one for you?"

Leon: "Can you get me a latte? Here's $10"

Jason: "Hey Leon, here's your coffee"

Leon: "Where's my change?"

Jason: "I've been nice and went to the coffee shop to get the coffee for you even though you've never did the same for me, I need to be compensated so I will be keeping the change".
Deal Addict
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Mar 23, 2008
4899 posts
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Edmonton
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 1:06 pm
I'll be honest, the amount isn't my issue. It's the principle. They are a very large company, and are known for paying significantly under market value, overworking their staff, and just not a great place to work overall (which is why I left).

When I announced my departure, I helped them out as much as I could by providing an extra week's notice, and giving them a personal referral for my replacement (which they ended up hiring).

To top it all off, this was a clerical error on their end, which went on for almost a year.

I get that "legally" I might be required to pay it back..but i'm just not very motivated to do so, given the past history and circumstances (although I get that doesn't necessarily have any bearing on anyone but me).

I wish there was a way I can tell them to "screw off" , that was legally sound as well lol.
Again, the fact that they are a large company (and even not a great place to work) is irrelevant in the discussion. If you get taken to court, saying "They suck, so I shouldn't have to pay it back" won't fly.

Second, why would you give a personal referral to a crappy place like that? You don't like the person you set up for your replacement?

C
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2017
22 posts
blitzforce wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 1:16 pm
Using money that isn't yours is considered stealing, even if you didn't intentionally withdrew it yourself. Being paid under market value is your choice, and you don't have to sign the contract if you had other offers in front of you. Your logic is really flawed.
I disagree. Stealing is when a person uses the money while knowing the whole time it is not his. When you get paid by your employer, their responsibility is to offer you a detailed and clear understanding (via paystub or other means), of what each pay contains.

My paystub every 2 weeks for the last year, contained no such information or breakdown that lead me to believe I was being overpaid. As such, I budgeted my life around what I received each week.

Now that they have discovered an error, they are requesting money that was spent based on my budget for the last year assuming in good faith what I was getting paid every two weeks. This will now cause a blow to me by incurring an unexpected expense, due to their error. If I was responsible for calculating and staying on top what I was getting paid, surely they have equal responsiblity too.

So my logic is based on the fact that their error in fact caused undue hardship for me. It's not like I was rubbing my hands together for 12 months every time I get paid saying "ohh it feels so good stealing this extra $50 every paycheck."...


If the bank was giving you 3% interest on your savings instead of 2% for a year, and then asked you for the extra money back, there has to be some quantification of the trouble it causes you, due to their error, not only the party that "overpaid".
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2017
22 posts
CNeufeld wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 1:31 pm
Again, the fact that they are a large company (and even not a great place to work) is irrelevant in the discussion. If you get taken to court, saying "They suck, so I shouldn't have to pay it back" won't fly.

Second, why would you give a personal referral to a crappy place like that? You don't like the person you set up for your replacement?

C
The person was desperate for a job in their field to start gaining experience, and I did mention the pros and cons of working there. They still wanted to work there, so win-win in my case.
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2075 posts
349 upvotes
Toronto
nileskramer wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 1:31 pm
I disagree. Stealing is when a person uses the money while knowing the whole time it is not his. When you get paid by your employer, their responsibility is to offer you a detailed and clear understanding (via paystub or other means), of what each pay contains.
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/person ... sh-n735316

"“We conduct billions of transactions on a daily basis that are correct on both sides,” said Doug Johnson, senior vice president for payments and cybersecurity policy at the American Bankers Association. But “there's always the potential for human error.”"

"One Georgia teen learned this the hard way. After spending $30,000 in his bank account that didn't belong to him, the young man earned a 10-year sentence, according to local news reports."

Based on what you've written so far, you don't sound like the type who wouldn't know if you were underpaid if it does happen. Regardless, as what others have said, you don't have to justify your logic to us. If you really don't want to give them back their money, don't do anything and just wait for a collection letter from them. Honestly for a few hundred dollars, this company really is kind of cheap.

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