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Paying back overpayment of wages Alabama

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  • Paying back overpayment of wages Alabama

    Heres the situation......recently we found out that several police and firefighters were put into the wrong step in the pay scale and after complaing about it our city went back and are now in the process of paying backpay to around 18 people as well as giving them a pay raise to where they were supposed to be already.The down side to all this was that(as retribution IMHO ) they also are saying that two fire captains were givin too good of a raise when promoted.According to the rule they should have been put into a lower step than they where.One was promoted 3 years ago and has been approved for 3 or 4 merit increases since.The other was promoted 15 months ago and has since recieved 2 merit increases, all merit increases must be approved by the mayor as does their original pay after promotion.Now the city is trying to make these two pay back $7200 and $2600 respectivly.They say they will allow them the same length of time to repay as the time they were overpaid.Also the one that owes $2600 will have his pay reduced by about $3700 per year to get him down to where the rules say he was originally meant to go.Now heres my questions....Can the city do this and how far back can they go to recoup the overpayment?Also does the fact that the mayor had at least 6 oppurtunities to catch and correct this but did nothing have any bearing on the case.According to his job discription the personnel director is responsible for assuring that all pay is correct and within the guidelines of the rules.Its my opinion that he should be held responsible to pay the backpay if anyone is.

  • #2
    Generally speaking, yes they can. We've done it here, municipal government. Actually, I think the city is being very generous allowing such a long repayment period. The mayor should have caught this? I doubt it; mayors normally have no knowledge of where any one individual is in the step progression. Should HR have caught it? Probably. Is the employee entitled to gain from the mistake and because it took so long to discover it? No. As long as the union agrees to the fact that the overpayment occurred and that it is proper for it to be recovered, the affected individuals really don't have any legal recourse. It would be best, however, if they authorized the repayment terms in writing.
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    • #3
      I wouldn't go as far

      as saying anyoneagrees there was an overpayment.The rules are so vague that we really don't know.People are hired all the time that start at several steps above "starting pay" because of past experience or other factors such as education.So I assume that the rule means a promotion will get you at least the specified step but theres nothing which says its the max.


      • #4
        I always understood

        That to with hold any monies from the employees pay that the employee had to agree with that decision. The city by rights could be forced to take the employees to small claims court to effectively attach the wages of an employee. Maybe being under the union contract makes this different. The city can ASK them to pay back to overpayment, but they cannot arbitrarilly decide to take it from them.
        What is veiwed is not always what is seen and
        what is heard is not always what is spoken!
        ~M. Noitall~


        • #5
          This is Alabama

          Really no such thing as a fire department union contract.(with a couple of exception)


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