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I was recently let go of a company, the position was eliminated,

and was told I would...
I was recently let go of a company, the position was eliminated, and was told I would receive 4 weeks severance plus any PTO I had left (maybe an additional 10 days or so). I was expecting the amount to be somewhere in the $6-8k range. I checked my account today, and they had deposited just under $70,000. I understand the moral thing to do is let them know their mistake. But I was wondering Legally, (1) do I have to let them know?
(2) Is there an amount of time that could pass (SOL), that the company could no longer ask for money back?
(3) If I say nothing could I be held responsible for fraud, or theft?

*The company is in Maryland, I was living in DC at the time I was let go, and recently moved to Virginia and am living here as the payment went through.
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
7/31/2013
TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,430
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Verified
Because you are aware of the mistake in the payment amount, you are not entitled to keep the money. However, neither are you under a duty to notify of the mistaken payment.

The payment must be reversed within 3 years of when the bank that sent the payment to you or the employer should have known that the payment was made in a mistake. You can start this clock ticking immediately by providing notice.

While you are entitled to a portion of the funds because you are due a severance, you should be very careful in spending any of the money. If you spend more than you are due, this is where a charge of criminal fraud can come in against you.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

So to be clear: the three year clock doesn't start ticking, until I notify the company or the bank?


 


And would your advice be to contact the HR department immediately?

No, the 3 year clock starts ticking when they "should" have realized the mistaken payment or when you notify them.

My advice would be to contact them and let them know, as getting your hopes up is going to only end in disappointment. This mistakes are almost always discovered. I would send it in an email.
TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,430
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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Category: Employment Law
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