employee gets overpaid

I work in New Jersey, if an employee is over-paid and has not come forward for several weeks to pay back the over-payment can

the employee be terminated for being dishonest?





  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • do really know that the employees is being dishonest? i mean was it a large amount of overpayment?  does the employee's paycheck fluctuate each week? since i use direct deposit i know that i wouldn't notice a few dollars less or more in my paycheck quickly. anything more than a hundred i would probably notice right away.
  • Seems unfair to fire the employee for the employer's (or payroll vendor's) mistake . . . I agree that the amount of overpayment and the likelihood that the employee would notice are pretty critical. I would just start them on a repayment plan and a warning, unless the overpayment was glaring.
  • I think I would take the presume trust approach first most especially if this individual has direct deposit. Firing the individual for presumingly an employer's mistake seems high risk. 
  • I agree with the other posts; termination is a pretty heavy price for an employer mistake.  Do you have anything spelled out as to what steps to take in your Employee Handbook for overpaymetns and an appropriate timeframe?  A repayment plan is a good idea.
  • I think it all really hangs on how reasonable it would be for the employee to notice the overpayment.  Are they hourly?  Does their pay fluctuate with changing schedules?  Do they earn commissions or other at-risk or changing pay types?  Was the discrepancy large or small?

    Whatever payback scheme you implement, if it involves payroll deductions, make sure it is legal in your state.  Laws vary widely on that.

  • I agree that moving directly to termination is extreme.  Has it been brought to the employees attention that there was an overpayment?  It may be best to just tell the employee that we (the company) made a mistake.  Then ask him/her to repay it.  The person may want to pay it out immediately without setting up a payment plan.
  • Did you check to see how this error was made?  I think I would call the employee into my office and explain that an error was made and how it was made (without mentioning any names).  Honesty is always the best policy.  I would then ask the employee to repay the money that was overpaid and give him/her options as to how it could be repaid.  The employee may honestly not know that he had an overpayment in his/her paycheck. 

  • Hey, I agree with everyone.  You can't take this mistake out on the employee.  Definitely handle with care. Can you imagine what this situation would sound like after a few rounds through the employee grapevine?
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