Q: Hello, I wanted to know can a employer ask u to pay back overpayment of wages?
The backstory is I was given excess sick and vacation leave when I left for maternity leave. However, I wasn’t able to go back to the company anymore and therefore I resigned in March. Now towards the end of April, they are asking me to pay back the excess vacation leave and sick leave. Are they able to do that under California labor laws?
Yes. The law does not allow someone to profit from the mistake of another. If you got more than you were entitled to receive the employer can request it back, and if you refuse to pay it back, it can go to court to get a judgment against you.
It is better to work out a payment plan if possible.
Good luck to you.
An employer can ask you to do any and everything. However, you're not obligated to do anything. Hence, you can voluntarily pay back the wages, if you want. If you do not pay back the wages voluntarily, they would have to sue you in court and get a judgment.
The most viable defense to such claims for overpayment of wages is to claim that the employer's own accounting systems for hours, vacation, sick pay, etc is imperfect and in error. Employers have a legal duty to keep accurate track of all hours, etc. If an employer fails to keep adequate records, then it cannot seek reimbursement for poor accounting practices.
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