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Received duplicate pay California

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  • Received duplicate pay California

    I just got Laid off from a major Bank (2017, after > 25 years of service). I received my severance (lump sum) without issue, but now I received a letter stating that due to "Late submission/Processing of Separation Information" (I have no idea what that means), they duplicated a paycheck, basically a double pay for unused Vacation, PTO (purchased Time off) and a couple days regular salary, this "duplicate payment" was received on a following pay period from the original pay-out. Also, I have basically retired and don't plan on rejoining the work force.

    Does this former employer have any recourse to recoup this over payment?

  • #2
    was it direct deposited? Did you sign a DD form that stated they could remove any overpayments?
    Did you actually receive a second deposit after the severance and was your severance payment supposed to cover those things? Check whatever documentation you received with your severance payment that explains what was paid to you. Maybe pass that documentation by a local attorney to make sure that your severance was meant to cover those things....

    I know that CA does have some wage laws regarding overpayment in that they can't later deduct it from another paycheck. DAW might know if they can take you to court to recover a duplicate final check though since they are not trying to pull it from any later wages.

    But even if they have no recourse, if they over paid you and you know that you didn't earn that money, is it so very hard to do the right thing and pay it back to them?


    • #3
      It was a direct dep. And based on what I signed, I didn't see any verbiage related to over payment. This "over payment" was a separate/stand alone deposit and NOT linked in any way to the severance package. It was a payroll deposit, that included regular salary as well as reimbursement for unused vacation pay.

      I am kinda thinking Sec. 221 of the Ca. labor code has controlling authority here:

      It shall be unlawful for any employer to collect or receive from an employee any part of wages theretofore paid by said employer to said employee.
      (Added by Stats. 1937, Ch. 357.)

      Also, I am sympathetic to the moral argument.


      • #4
        That law does NOT mean that you get to keep wages paid to you in error that you did not earn.
        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.


        • #5
          In CA the employer can ALWAYS take current/former employees to court. What limitation exists (correctly cited in the last answer) is a restriction on "self help" remedies by the employer. So in this case, the former employee can try to get a remedy from CA-DLSE. But the employer can get their remedy in court. There is no right to keep over payments, just limitations on the recovery method used.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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