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Overpayment...does it have to be repaid? Massachusetts

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  • Overpayment...does it have to be repaid? Massachusetts

    A former employer of mine discovered that she was incorrectly paying staff for 3 hours for every staff meeting (even though the meetings were only 1 hour at the most). She has learned that she did not have to pay for 3 hours. Does this overpayment have to be repaid by the employees?

  • #2
    The employee does not have any legal right to keep money that they were overpaid. However, if the employer does not ask for it, they do not have to volunteer it either.
    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.

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    • #3
      Overpaid...

      Thanks for the response. So, if the employer asks for the money back (or rather, most likely sends something in writing with the details and the amount owed), I am legally bound to return it?

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      • #4
        One last question

        CBG - thanks for your answer. In addition to the question before this, is there a specified number of years that they are allowed to date back to (i.e. only request overpaid money for the last XX years)?

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        • #5
          Yes. If the employer asks for the overpayment back, you have no legal grounds to refuse.

          I am not aware of any time limitation. That doesn't mean there isn't one. Phil?
          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.

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          • #6
            I agree with cbg, legally.

            However, if I were your friend, would I really want to go there? Don't know how much money we're talking about, but it would just kill morale. I've been in payroll and payroll management for 30+ years and if it were my decision, I'd just move forward and do only what the law requires in the future.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Per post #3, it sounds like you might have been one of the overpaid employees by the former employer. If so, have you received a request for the return of the overpayment? You would be legally obligated to return money you were overpaid.

              Right off, I don't know about any time limitation either.
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