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Overpayment Help needed please California

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  • Overpayment Help needed please California

    I have a 17 year old daughter that works at for a fast food establishment. her last pay period their computer messed up and overpaid her 20 some odd hours and she cashed her check without knowing and was too late to turn it back in for correction. now they're telling her they are going to take it out of her next pay but from what I know she only works one day a week for about 4-6 hours. she was told to pretty much not expect a paycheck the next 2 pay periods. Is that legal? I just want to make sure. she and I have not problem with repaying it but no check at all? thank you for your input.

  • #2
    It's not a matter of no paycheque for two pay periods because she's already been paid for those periods. It's perfectly legal to pay someone in advance of him/her working, and that's what has happened here (even though it was a mistake, that's what happened).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by eerelations View Post
      It's not a matter of no paycheque for two pay periods because she's already been paid for those periods. It's perfectly legal to pay someone in advance of him/her working, and that's what has happened here (even though it was a mistake, that's what happened).
      I slightly disagree with this. First, even under Federal law she'd still need to be paid minimum wage times hours worked, plus any overtime, unless I'm misunderstanding something. Second, state law in CA prohibits the employer from using self-help methods to correct errors.

      This is not to say that she cannot be required to pay the overage back - she can. She is no more entitled to benefit from the employer's mistake than the employer is to take her full paycheck. (I understand, OP, that you are not saying that she is.) But unless I am completely off base, it cannot be done this way.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think OP is complaining that his daughter won't get paycheques for two paydays because those paydays will be eating up the overpayment. For some reason the OP thinks that not getting paycheques on payday is somehow illegal.

        I'm thinking that she has been already paid for those two paydays (the overpayment) and so she already has her pay for those pay periods.

        In simpler terms it's like if you were supposed to get $1000 per week for X hours of work, and if one day your employer gives you $3,000, then as long as you work X hours per week for the following two weeks, you are considered paid.

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        • #5
          And I'm thinking that the OP is right. It's not that I don't understand the question, it's that this time I think you're wrong. (And that doesn't happen often.)

          Unless my understanding of this part of the FLSA is very poor, under Federal law they can take part of her paycheck to reduce the overage but they cannot take it all. It would mean less taken over a longer period of time but it would mean she got some pay instead of no pay. We're talking about taking, as an example, half of each of four paychecks instead of all of two.

          And according to my understanding of the CA law, they cannot take any part of her paycheck at all. They can require that she write a check to repay them for the overpayment, but they cannot take part or all of a paycheck to correct an error.

          You are looking at it as paying in advance, but each payday stands alone under the FLSA. So it wouldn't be pay in advance; it would be overpayment. And CA law is even more stringent.
          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
            http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/h...rpayments.aspx
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              Link is taking me to the sign in page and I dropped my membership years ago.

              (Which reminds me that I've been intending to renew it...)
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gosh, it let me in. However, now it isn't letting me in. It more or less said what you said. In Ca. employer can't recover over payment. It seems they can't withhold her pay check or reduce/deduct from it. However, there are some ways in which they can get their overpayment back - for example if employee agrees to pay it back & signs something.
                Last edited by Betty3; 02-06-2016, 07:32 PM.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment


                • #9
                  http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/h...rpayments.aspx

                  It let me in again: Wage Overpayment California

                  In California, the ability of an employer to deduct amounts from an employee’s wages is regulated by California Labor Code §221, which stipulates that it is unlawful for an employer to collect or receive any part of wages already paid to an employee. See, California Department of Industrial Relations Opinion Letter 1999.09.22-1—Deductions for Overpayment of Industrial Relations Wages (PDF).

                  An employer’s ability to recover wages as a result of an overpayment of wages is further limited by court decisions (Kerr’s Catering v. Department of Industrial Relations 56 Cal.2d 319 (1962)). There have been several court decisions that significantly restrict an employer’s ability to take an offset against an employee’s wages: Barnhill v. Sanders 125 Cal.App.3d 1 (1981); CSEA v. State of California 198 Cal.App.3d 374 (1988) (unlawful to deduct from current payroll for past salary advances that were in error); and Hudgins v. Nieman Marcus 34 Cal.App.4th 1109 (1995) (deductions for unidentified returns from commission sales unlawful).

                  However, the law does allow for an employee to voluntarily agree to repayment of any overpaid wages via either a payroll deduction or other means.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not the question, but this is why deliberate overpayments such as letting the vacation balance go negative is such a bad idea, especially in CA. HOWEVER, flip the issue. Lets say that the employer does what they say they are going to do. What exactly is the employee's recourse? And just what is the employers risk here?
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                    Comment

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