What Happens if a Job Accidentally Pays You?
A mistake from an employer like an accidental overpayment can present an interesting moral dilemma for any employee. When money lands in a bank account unexpectedly, a typical response may be to think of it as a gift from a kind employer. But in reality, accidentally receiving extra money from any source should never be taken lightly and has legal implications for both parties.
Responsibilities of the Employee
If an employee is accidentally overpaid, then it’s the employee’s responsibility to contact the employer immediately. It is their duty to put the money back where it came from, because if they keep the money they could be liable to legal action. The employee must also:
- Review the Funds: Every employee should carefully review all incoming payments and contact their employer right away if unusual funds appear in their account.
- Return Overpayment: The employee should return the overpayment to the employer.
- Keep Records: The employee should keep detailed records of the overpayment and process of returning it.
- Document Correspondence: The employee should keep copies of any correspondence in regards to the overpayment.
In cases where a dispute arises between an employee and employer, the employee’s records will be very helpful in establishing their defense.
Responsibilities of the Employer
If an employer accidentally pays an employee too much, then they must take action to correct their mistake. The employer must contact the employee and ask them to return the funds. In some cases, the employer may have to issue a new paycheck or another form of payment to correct the mistake. Employers should also:
- Keep Accurate Records: Accurate record-keeping of all employee payments is essential to avoid accidental overpayments.
- Inform Employee: The employer should contact the employee informing them of the overpayment and asking for it to be returned.
- Issue Documentation: The employer should provide a written explanation of the mistake and documentation showing the employee was overpaid. This can be included with the payment asking for the money to be returned.
- Provide Notification of Repayment: Upon receipt of the repayment, the employer should issue a separate notification informing the employee that the overpayment has been processed.
If an employer fails to take the necessary steps to recover the overpayment then they may be liable to legal action.
These are the responsibilities of both employers and employees in the event of an accidental overpayment. It’s important for both parties to understand their legal responsibilities in order to avoid any dispute or legal action.