Question from JA Adande, Can an Employer Recoup Overpaid Wages from a Former Employee in New York?
Answer from AI:
In general, employers have the right to recoup overpaid wages, even from former employees. However, the process can be complex and varies by state. In New York, the law provides some guidance on this issue.
New York Labor Law
According to the New York State Department of Labor, an employer can make deductions from an employee’s wages for overpayments that result from a mathematical or clerical error. However, there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed.
- The employer must notify the employee in writing before any money is deducted.
- The total amount of money deducted for overpayment cannot exceed 12.5% of the gross wages earned in a pay period.
- The employer must provide the employee with a procedure to dispute the overpayment and terms of recovery.
Note: These rules apply to current employees. The law is less clear when it comes to former employees, and it may be more difficult to recoup overpaid wages.
If a former employee refuses to repay the overpaid wages, the employer may have to take legal action. This could involve filing a lawsuit in small claims court or hiring a collection agency. However, these options can be time-consuming and costly.
Consult with a Legal Professional
Given the complexity of this issue, it’s recommended that employers consult with a legal professional. An attorney can provide personalized advice based on the specific circumstances of the case. They can also help navigate the legal process and ensure that the employer’s rights are protected.
To prevent similar situations in the future, employers should implement strong payroll procedures and regularly audit their payroll records. This can help catch errors early and avoid costly overpayments.
For more information, you can visit the New York State Department of Labor’s FAQ on Deductions from Wages.
Remember, this information is a general guide and not legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice on your specific situation.