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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34675
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I work for a big company and have reason to believe that i

Customer Question

I work for a big company and have reason to believe that i have been getting overpaid for a long time. I didn't have any pay to compare mine to , so had no reason to think i have been over-paid until i overheard my co-workers discussing their pay. I never checked the union book before because i never thought it to be a problem. So when i checked sure enough it looks like i am being over-paid. Do I immediately speak to HR department or my supervisor or what do i do? I live in Los angeles, california if that helps.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Your title is not consistent with publish wage guidelines in the union agreement?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No, its not. Should i talk to someone right away? It must have been wrong for years without me knowing. I want to fix this immediately now that I know about it. (By the way I sent a longer response but don't think you got it.)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
She hasn't answered me yet.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Different expert here. Please permit me to assist. You ask about your being overpaid. An employment contract is based both upon the express agreement of the parties or the union's collective bargaining agreement, and the actual conduct between the parties.

If you have been overpaid, as you say, "for years," then you are entitled to the wage you are receiving, because you have worked in reliance upon that wage. This is legally termed a contract by "promissory estoppel." That is, once you started receiving pay, the wage received operates as a promise to continue your wage at that rate until you are notified otherwise. When you work for that amount, you accept the offer of pay by your performance and earn the amount paid.

Therefore, you are not responsible for notifying anyone about anything, and you are entitled to the wage you are receiving, until your employer decides to change your pay rate.

If you start rocking the boat, you may indicate by your conduct, knowledge that you have been overpaid for a long period of time, and that could make your reliance on your prior pay unjustified. So, by starting down the road to what you may believe to be a "moral" act, you could be financially "shooting yourself in the foot."

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34675
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
"To Socrateaser")OK, Thanks, but one last thing to clarify the answer. Is it ok to ask about my pay at all just to make sure it is correct? Or would that be considered rocking the boat. I would just say that i wanted to make sure it was correct, not that I think it is wrong. I just don't want it to come back to me later on.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
I "justanswer" questions about the law. I can't advise you as to a course of action. You get to make that decision. However, if it were my decision, I wouldn't say a word about it to anyone. I'd just do my job and collect my paychecks.

Best wishes.

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socrateaser
socrateaser
California Employment Lawyer
34675 Satisfied Customers
Retired (mostly)