Working Moms

I was overpaid and need some opinions
February 4, 2013 at 9:49 PM

 Last paycheck I noticed that I (and several coworkers) were given a bonus for not using sick time when in fact we did use sick time and were not supposed to get the bonus.  I received a letter from my employer that reads as follows:

{Company} has become aware that you were overpaid $150 on pay date 1/25/13.  This money was given in error as an attendance bonus for no sick time used from Sept. to Dec. 2012.  Since you did use sick time during this period, you should have not recieved this bonus.  The net amount after taxes to pay back is $86.59.

You are legally responsible for paying back this amount to {company}.  Please contact John Doe within one week of the date of this letter to make arrangements to pay back this amount.

Failure to reimburse {company} for these overpayments will result in the excess compensation being reported to the IRS as income for tax purposes and could result in further legal action to collect these overpayments.

So here's my questions. 

1) Am I really legally responsible to pay this back?

2) Will this $150 still be reported to the IRS as income if I pay it back or will they negate it somehow?

3) What would happen if I didn't pay it back?

I ask mostly because this type of thing has happened before to some coworkers.  They messed up our pay one summer and over and underpaid some people.  A few were supposed to pay back over $1000 but never paid back the majority of it.  I'm just wondering what my options are.  I live paycheck to paycheck so $86 is a big deal to me right now.


  • TS9509
    by TS9509
    February 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM
    The company I work for didn't adjust our insurance premium deductions in time and they sent out letters to everyone and we had to repay the company for the difference. The CEO gave everyone 6 months to pay it back, the amount was less than $100 overall.
  • Megan11587
    February 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM
    Yes, you are responsible to pay this back. Yes it could be report it to the IRS. If you don't pay it back, if you still work there, they can take it out of your next check. If not, they could file suit against you.
  • cjsmom1
    by cjsmom1
    February 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM
    How do they not notice it? It sounds like its happened several times and is something your company needs to work on.
  • flutter523
    February 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM
    You would think right? I swear my 3 year old is smarter than some of the payroll and HR people at my company.

    Quoting cjsmom1:

    How do they not notice it? It sounds like its happened several times and is something your company needs to work on.
  • christaberk
    February 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM
    Yeah. I think you have to pay it back.
  • allyn9
    by allyn9
    February 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    If you know (and you said you do) you didn't deserve it, then of course you should pay it back.

  • LFLucy
    by LFLucy
    February 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    1) Yes, you are legally responsible to pay this amount owed back.  As they said in their letter they are willing to work with you for repayments, but being that it is a small amount I am not sure they will. Yes, they can take it out of your next check even without authorization.  No they cannot remove it from your own account directly if they used direct deposit. 

    2) No, it's not reportable unless you don't pay it back.  Remember to ask for a new and corrected W-2 form.

    3)  Being that it was paid to you and they sent you notice in good faith about the overage you should not ignore it.  You should repay it.  If you refuse they can dismiss you and go after you legally for the amount.  And considering that it would be part of you employment record and could affect your credit if they get a judgment if you refuse I wouldn't be willing to take the chance.

    Never mind what someone else has done in the past.  Do what is right, even if it puts you in a difficult place financially.  In the end it will be worth it and makes you look like a keeper if something ever comes along like layoffs or even promotions. 

  • littleangie
    February 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    I don't care if you are legally required to pay it back.  You should just give it back because it is the right  thing to do.

  • Twisties34
    February 6, 2013 at 11:06 PM
    You are responsible for paying it back. Letter from the boss or not. Do otherwise and its stealing. My old boss accidentl paid me twice on a long weekend, I drove out to his house out of town to give him the cash back. He was so thrilled that I'd been honest with him.

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