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Massachusetts Union

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  • Massachusetts Union

    If an employer (union) overpaid you based on hours worked in a particular week, can they deduct it from another check even though you legally worked the required hours? For example if I worked 32 hours one week and got paid for 40 ( their error), and the next week I worked 40, can they pay me for 32 because they made an error or do they have to pay me for my 40 and do I have to pay them back on my own?

  • #2
    According to what I was told by the MA AG's office when I had a similar (but not identical) question about one of my employees, as long as you receive no less than state minimum wage times hours worked, the state of MA will not object to your employer deducting the overpayment from your next check. Their position will be that you got paid for that eight hours ahead of working for them. Since OT is not involved and since you ultimately got paid for the correct number of hours, the state of MA will figure no harm, no foul.

    I'll let one of the payroll people determine whether or not such a deduction would be legal under Federal law.

    What I can tell you is that IF the overpayment is NOT deducted, you have no legal grounds to refuse to repay them, no matter whose error it is. You do not get to keep money that you did not earn.

    All of the above assumes that your CBA does not address the issue.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      I'll let one of the payroll people determine whether or not such a deduction would be legal under Federal law.
      Federal law (such as it is) is fine with the recovery. Federal law (actually regulations in the 29 CFR 531.XXX range) tends to be fine with most recoveries. These regulations make a distinction between "for the benefit of the employee" which means the employer can take net pay down to zero, and "for the benefit of the employer" which means that the employer can only reduce down to minimum wage. An overpayment is "for the benefit of the employee", which means under federal rules net pay can be reduced to zero.

      State rules tend to be much more favorable to the employer then federal rules, and CBG knows a lot more about MA rules then I do.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        thank you for all of your help


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