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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7352
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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my supervisor broke her leg last year and her responsibilities

Resolved Question:

my supervisor broke her leg last year and her responsibilities were tras=nferred over to me along with an increase in salery. She returned to work two months later and I resumed my old position but my salary remained the same. Last week the department director informed me that I'd been over paid by 16,000 and how did I intend on reimburrising them. He gave me one week to do this.
I was never informed that my increased pay would be reduced nor did I have any idea that I may be responsible for this. Am I liable? I have worked for this company for 15 years.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My goal is to answer your question completely and thoroughly and to provide excellent service.

If an employee is never informed of a reduction in their pay, then they would have no obligation to pay any wages back, since those wages did not constitute an "overpayment" to begin with. Rather, such a demand would constitute a "forfeiture of wages," which is illegal under almost all circumstance in the state of California.

The ultimate question is whether you were put on notice or had any reasonable basis to believe that your salary had returned to its previous rate. If your employer never notified you of the change (which they really should have done in writing if they were smart), then you would have a very strong case that their demand for reimbursement is really a demand for the forfeiture of wages, which is illegal under California law.

If they terminated you as a result of your refusal, an individual in your circumstance would likely have a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy (that public policy being that it is wrong, as a matter of policy, to terminate an employee who refused to forfeit wages earned).

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7352
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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