I continued receiving my salary while on FMLA 18 months ago. I no longer work for that company. Now they want to collect 'overpayment' totaling $17,800. I was told several times by my DM and the Sr HR rep 'not to worry' about pay. Do I have to pay this money back?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Kentucky
Hello,Normally FMLA is unpaid leave, since there is no provision for payment of wages under the law. However, not only can an employer voluntarily pay wages if they choose, but also often the employee has accrued sick leave and vacation pay that is used to offset the "unpaid" status under FMLA. In this case, whether or not you have to pay this money back is dependent entirely on the policies of your company and any "contract" that was made with you about pay. There is no way I could guess what a court of law would do with this claim should this be litigated since I do not have all of the facts, including those from the employer's perspective. I do though think that because of the statements made by the DM and HR, you might have enough of an issue that would warrant you consulting with a local employment law attorney about the possibility that you might successfully defend an overpayment demand. A lot depends of their perspective of the conversation about not worrying about your pay and also the company's policies and normal procedures in these cases. Generally though, unless one party gives something in "consideration" of a promise like this, no contract is found to exist. So, you may ultimately have to repay the mistaken money if you did not otherwise have paid leave.
Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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