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overpayment letter 18 months after leaving company

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  • overpayment letter 18 months after leaving company

    I received a certified letter in January of 2006 from the company I haven't worked for since July of 2004 saying I owe them $1200. They claim the money was paid to me in error after leaving. They claim they've tried to contact me on several occasions (not to my knowledge). I did receive a deposit a week after leaving the company but believed it was money owed to me and never once believed it was in error. In most jobs I've had your pay is usually a week or so behind anyway. Can this company demand funds returned? The only threat was sending me to a "third party collection" agency. What legal ramifications could I face if I can't prove the money was owed to me?
    Last edited by former employee; 01-03-2006, 06:45 AM. Reason: This situation occured in Florida

  • #2
    The first thing I would do is ask for an accounting of why they think you owe them this money, and is it gross or net?

    Personally, this is very late and reflects a lack of review and audit on the part of the company, but if you were overpaid, it does not change that fact.

    In most states, you can be sued civilly if you refuse to pay.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      I read this on another website...I have no contract with the former comany...wouldn't a civil suit cost more than 1200.

      If you have left the employment where the overpayment occurred

      In this situation, your former employer is unable to make a deduction from your wages. But what if, some months or years later, your former employer, or even a debt collector, contacts you claiming that you owe money that was overpayed in the former employment? Much will depend on what was stated in the employment contract. Some contracts state that, if an employee leaves the employment owing the employer money that could not be recovered from final wages, the amount owed becomes a civil debt. If there is no contractual provision to treat the alleged overpayment as a civil debt, the employer may have considerable difficulty in enforcing payment if you refuse to do so. In either situation, you should obtain advice from a solicitor, or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or another local organisation providing advice on legal, employment or tax matters.

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      • #4
        Whether or not future wages can be reduced depends on state law. However, you no longer work there. That doesn't mean they will pursue a civil case; it just means that legally, they could if they wanted to.

        Very few employees have employment contracts. I have a very responsible position in a large city government and I don't have one. If you had no contract, then whatever laws are in place (if any) addressing this situation would apply.

        I also see that this reference you quoted referred to a "Solicitor" instead of an attorney, spelled "organization" with an "s" instead of a "z" and mentioned the "Citizen's Advice Bureau", which I've never heard of. All of these lead me to believe this answer was referring to another country, for example, Canada or Great Britian.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 01-05-2006, 01:30 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Patty, you're right, upon closer review of the website I quoted...it's origination is the UK (red face embarressment). It had all kinds of references to the IRS and other US organizations in the margins...oh well. Thank you for your help!

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