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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5615
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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My former employer made a "Clerical Error" and did not

Customer Question

My former employer made a "Clerical Error" and did not withhold the correct amount for my dental insurance in 2014. I have not worked for this school in a year and received a letter yesterday stating they made a "Clerical Error" and that I owe them $864.80 for dental insurance for the 2014-2015 school year and to remit by August 15,2016. Several current and former employees of the school received these letters. They told the union rep that they will take us to small claims if they are not paid. Is this legal? Do we have to pay because they made a clerical error. Not sure if this is related, but the employee/bookkeeper responsible for the withholding was terminated this year because of failing to perform her duties efficiently.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today. I'm sorry to hear about this.

Unfortunately, there is no law that protects employees from employer later claiming overpayment of wage or benefits, and it doesn't matter whether it was the employer or employees fault for the overpayment. The employee still owed the funds back to the employer under a breach of contract/claim of replevin, which can be made in court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The bookkeeper that was terminated for the errors, withheld for an employee only dental plan from my payroll, which is what I signed up for, but appearantly enrolled me in a family plan. In the 11 years that I worked there, I never had a family plan. We filled out forms at the beginning of each year indicating what type of health, vision, dental etc plan. Mysteriously, those forms are no longer in the files for the year in question. I never received an insurance card for family benefits and my children are grown, married, no longer live at home and have insurance of their own. This was not a benefit that I could've known or taken advantage of.
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

I see. So what you would do is claim the employer committed a breach of fiduciary duty by enrolling you in the wrong plan. That would be your defense to any such action against you. I wouldn't pay it if I were you.

Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.

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