Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Under many circumstances there is a limit of how much an employer may deduct from an employee's wages/paycheck in Texas, as elsewhere. However, recoupment of overpayments of wages do not fall within the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, that limit other deductions to either voluntary deductions or those that will not reduce wages below minimum wage.
Texas Payday Law though, or the courts' interpretation if completely unsettled. In Texas, an employer is normally required to get a signed prior authorization for deductions from wages or there must be a statutory requirement to take the deduction, or it is for the benefit of the employee. In this case, overpayment of wages does not fit neatly into the law and the courts have not really settled this issue in cases where there was no prior written agreement by the employee. That means that if you want to, you can file a wage complaint with the TWC or file a small claims court suit against your employer for those wages and see what those venues decided. It could go either way. You can see the TWC guidance on wage deductions by going to the following link: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/deduction_problems_under_tpl.html#wageoverpayments
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