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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12792
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My wife left her job as a Pharmaceutical sales

Customer Question

My wife left her job as a Pharmaceutical sales representative with AstraZeneca (AZ) back in 2014. When she left, she contacted her HR department to try and get some documentation and answers about how she would be "closed" out of the company and would she get paid for accrued vacation, any bonuses and when she would get her final check. They could NOT give her any answers. We had no clue when her final paycheck would come or the amount it would be. To make a long story short, we just recently in the last 2-3 weeks were notified that she has to pay back $12,113.46 for what they are calling "overpayment" for her regular salary. I'm not satisifed with the detail of their demands, as I want to know the exact dates and amounts of overpayment. One disturbing fact is that they are claiming that our first notice was back in February of 2015. We never received such a letter. I find it improbable that such a mainstream and large company would be owed $12,000 and send a first notice in Feb 2015 and then wait until June 2016 to send the 2nd notice. We have a 3rd notice now, just 2-3 weeks after we got the 2nd notice (possibly proving my point) and they are threatening to send us to collections. I have read all kinds of conflicting information about whether or not we have to repay this. Either way, I am not satisfied with the report they have sent us in regards ***** ***** the line items. I want to know the exact dates and amounts of over payment etc...
We are in NY state. I need advice as to how to deal with this, if I should be fighting this and not paying it, or if we are obligated to pay this back. My wife had called them multiple times begging them to give her figures about how she was getting paid and when her payments would stop. She left about 3-5 days before her Q3 bonus was to be accrued and she had no clue if she would see any of that many etc... Her HR department provided her no information and the first we have ever known she was overpaid was 2-3 weeks ago, when we got the second notice, which to us, was our first notice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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

If your wife was legitimate overpaid and received money that she did not earn, she has a legal obligation to pay it back and her former employer can file a lawsuit against her for unjust enrichment and conversion to compel its return. In court, they would bear the burden of proving their case, which means proving by a "preponderance of the evidence" that your wife received money that does not belong to her. Since the employer would have to supply this evidence in court to get their money via civil judgment, they should have no problem providing that same information to your wife now, informally. In fact, if there is any doubt as to whether there is an overpayment, it would be perfectly reasonable for you to demand as you have that proof be supplied.

You could simply refuse to pay until you get adequate proof. Your wife would risk the possibility of being sued, but if you make it clear to her employer that you will pay once adequate proof is supplied, I have a hard time believing their choose litigation over simply providing you with the same evidence they's have to produce in court anyway. You may wish to try negotiating some sort of a repayment plan. Employers are generally open to that sort of thing when it comes to overpayments.

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.

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Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get paid for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.

Very best wishes.