Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Unfortunately, the employer typically has a legal right to terminate any at will employee for any reason at all or for no reason as long as the only reason is not based on your age/race/sex/disability/national origin. In this case, I do not understand how they were upset with you finding out they had a computer issue that was costing them money, it was not your job to catch it as they think, it was the employer's duty to check it.
However, the problem is that they could still terminate you for this, since you did receive money through their error that you should not have received, there is a legal theory that is called "unjust enrichment" which would allow them to claim you did owe them money back, even if this was from their own error, but in cases where it is their error you did not steal anything and they could allow you to repay any over payment you received, but terminating you for stealing is a wrongful termination and at this point you need to consider getting a local attorney to pursue the employer for wrongfully defaming you calling you a thief.
Thank you for your reply.He cannot legally hold your check unless you agree to him in writing to do so. You need to reply that you are and always were willing to make payments to him for any over payment that came from his mistake, but were fired before you could do so despite you being the one who discovered the errors. Tell him that you were improperly terminated and also defamed in retaliation for reporting your discovery to him and you are willing to negotiate with him to return to work and have him take a small percentage of your pay when you return, but if he refuses, then he is going to force you to get a local attorney and you do not want to do that when you have been actually trying to look out for his business all along and not hurt his business.
If he keeps up refusing to negotiate, then you have no choice but getting a lawyer, perhaps legal aid if you cannot afford one, and seek to enforce your rights for the defamation and for terminating you for reporting this, which is really against public policy as it encourages employees to be dishonest about getting overpayments.