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Need Help in PA (overpayment?)

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  • Need Help in PA (overpayment?)

    I was working for a catholic school in Western PA last year when I found out that I was pregnant. My husband and I discussed it and I decided to take a one year sabbatical from my job to have the baby. (Baby's due any day now.)

    I spoke briefly with the principal of the school and told her my decision. She asked me to write a letter stating that I was taking a sabbatical so that they could save a position for me next year. We NEVER discussed any type of materinity payment or any type of payment for the following school year. It was never brought up that I would or would not receive payment for my time off. She didn't even come and say goodbye to me when I left at the end of the year.

    In August, my husband and I prepared for my bi-monthly paychecks to stop. We assumed that they would because the school has always been "tight" with money. Being a private school, they have to be. We were thrilled when the paychecks kept coming! I was then under the assumption that I was going to be paid during my year long sabbatical. (I know about the assuming thing, especially now).

    The school mailed me a statement showing the direct deposits that they were making into my checking account. They were the same as the ones that they had been making for over a year. They put the stamp on the envelopes and mailed them to me...4 of them...two months worth of pay.

    Yesterday I received a phone call from the financial manager at the school. He informed me that they just now realized that they were still paying me and that they shouldn't have been. (Eventhough the statements were mailed to my home) He not only told me that they will no longer be paying me, but he informed me that they want to be reimbursed for the money that they did send me. This is about $3,400.00 gross ~ which is what they want me to pay back.

    Is this my fault? Do I have to pay this money back to them? I have no idea where we will get the money! Especially now that we're going to be single income and have a baby.

    Please help with any advice or point me in the right direction.


  • #2
    Was the original mistake your fault? No. However, that doesn't change the facts. You did not expect to be paid; you continued to receive payments. You should have called to find out why they were continuing to pay you and whether those payments were appropriate. I'm sorry, but you had some responsibility here as well. In any case, the payments were not due you, you have now been informed of the error, and you should repay them. Seeing as they bear some of the responsibility though, you can always contact them to see if they will agree to a payment plan. If they want to play hard ball, they could sue you, and I'm sure you don't need that kind of stress right now.

    Good luck with the baby.
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