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Compensation California

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  • Compensation California

    I work in a municipality. In 2008, the City raised my and two other workers in the same job classification salary by 10% retroactive to Sept 2007. They also issued me a memo to that effect in 2008. Of the two workers, one retired in 2009 and the other in 2010.

    In Feb 2012, the City sent me a letter stating that they made a mistake and wants me refund the money from Sept 2007. They also unilaterally reduced my pay 10% since February of last year.

    Is the what the City doing legal - if not, what are my rights?

    Last edited by newa56; 03-23-2013, 12:59 PM. Reason: give additional info

  • #2
    Maybe legal. Lets break this into pieces.
    - You find someone else's wallet on the street and pocket the money. That is never legally your money because it never belonged to you in the first place.
    - If your employer makes a payment of funds not actually due you, it was not your money then and it remains not your money in the future.
    - HOWEVER the employer saying that it is not your money does not make it legally true. At this point in time it is just the employer's opinion, which is legally no better (or worse) then your opinion. We know the employer was wrong at least once in this matter. They could still be wrong.
    - Not true in all/most states, but in CA the employer is generally very severely restricted in their ability to make deductions from the employee. If you were talking about a private sector employer, I would say that the employer's ability to legally deduct the alleged overpayment is nil. Second HOWEVER is that governmental employers often have very different rules then private sector emploeyrs. I have no idea if your employer is subject to the normal rules are not. CA-DLSE likely would know if you want a harder opinion.
    - Third HOWEVER. I did not say that the employer could never recovery the money, I said that a private sector employer would likely be unable to unilaterly deduct it legally. But any employer (private or public) can take you to court, make their argument and try to get a judgement. At that point, assuming they win, it is no longer just the employer's opinion that you owe them money. There still is no "finder's keepers" rule.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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