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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12922
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My employer sent me an e-mail requesting that I repay

Customer Question

My employer sent me an e-mail requesting that I repay $976.62. Their letter states I must respond by 10/20/15 to ensure overpament does not impact the 10/30/15 check. It does state why the overpayment occurred or when. They want me to sign an "overpayment notification form" where they are offering me 3 choices of how I will be making this payback. In large letters it states: DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE OF THIS SUBJECT, I AGREE THAI WILL KEEP THIS INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL". To allow recovery on this overpayment, I hereby select and agree to the repayment option indicated below. They are giving me a date to select which option I desire and it says they reserve the right to recover any outstanding balances from final checks, supplemental payments including, but not limited to, bonus paymens, lump sum payments, and vacation payouts. On a separate e-mail they are stating the overpaid amount is due to LOA. Can they legally make me pay for something that they won't give me dates and amounts they are claiming were overpaid?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

If there was legitimately an over-payment, your employer can require you to return the money you received that is not yours. However, your employer may not deduct from your wages to reimburse themselves unless you sign an agreement authorizing such deductions. The thing is, if you don't sign, your employer can lawfully terminate your employment (employment in CA is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and as such terminable at any time for virtually any reason) or simply reduce your wages moving forward to offset their loss. So, not signing a voluntary repayment agreement will accomplish little more than causing your employer to think that you are uncooperative and thereby damaging your employment relationship. Not signing is not actually going to protect you from having to repay the overpayment, and in fact not signing may cost you your job.

Now, your employer should WANT to provide you with proof that you were actually overpaid. But if they have not already divulged their explanation, it would not be unreasonable to respond by offering to sign the voluntary repayment authorization on the CONDITION that they supply you with their explanation. I don't think any employer would be put off by that as it is entirely reasonable to want to verify that you truly owe something before paying what it is claimed that you are owed.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.