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  1. #1

    Exclamation Employer is Holding Employee 100% Responsible for Overpayment of Wages

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Mississippi.
    New at job, office manager inaccurate with payroll info but won't admit fault. Employer holding me 100% accountable. Disagreement about this is the domino affect of unethical actions on employers part. I was agreeing to work extra and deduct from each check and did so for months. Income was Not what I was told to expect, no way I could provide for myself on that level.. 30 notice given, last paycheck and personal property has been retained by employer with Unacceptable written promisary demands for overpayment . What are my legal rights here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,924

    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    You have lots of rights. Trying to list them all wouldn't help.

    Here's some.

    1 - File a wage claim with the state for any wages wrongfully withheld.
    2 - File for unemployment ASAP. The longer you wait the more money you lose.
    3 - File a police report if your employer is stealing your personal property.
    4 - Sue for the return of your property and for any other money you feel you have coming to you.

    Beyond that, you might want to consult an attorney and have the entire situation properly reviewed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    1,142

    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    This is totally confusing. However, you can speak with someone at the Mississippi Department of Labor and Workforce Wage and Hour division and discuss your situation. They will be glad to tell you, even generally if you don't want to give them specifics, about what was and was not legitimate according to wage and hour law.

    In any case, no matter how much they were or were not paying you, as long as they were paying you at least minimum wage, no one cares whether or not you'd be able to provide for yourself on what you were making or not, or whether it was as much as what was agreed upon. If this is a justification for doing something you knew was not legal, it's not a good one.

    They do have to pay you at least minimum wage for all the hours you did actually work. They do have to give your personal property back. But talk to wage and hour to clarify exactly what they might owe you.

    Mississippi is an "at will" state, your employer can certainly fire you at will and do not have to give a valid or true reason, they can find your performance "unacceptable" if they want to. Your recourse is to file for unemployment insurance and try to show that they did not have a valid misconduct reason to terminate you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    ...and Mississippi has quite possibly the weakest wage and hour laws in the US.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    I resigned with a 30+ day notice. I fulfilled my obligations. I had addressed the payroll issues respectfully but with discretion and in disagreement of the amount of over payment. I am very concerned that my last paycheck was witheld and my personal property is not being returned. I won't tolerate being wrongfully accused nor be held accountable for other people's mistakes. I broke no laws but am faced with a former employer that prides himself on work ethics, yet demonstrates ethical misconduct and is breaking the law.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    Quote Quoting christinalynn
    View Post
    I resigned with a 30+ day notice. I fulfilled my obligations. I had addressed the payroll issues respectfully but with discretion and in disagreement of the amount of over payment. I am very concerned that my last paycheck was witheld and my personal property is not being returned. I won't tolerate being wrongfully accused nor be held accountable for other people's mistakes. I broke no laws but am faced with a former employer that prides himself on work ethics, yet demonstrates ethical misconduct and is breaking the law.
    There are only two things that matter in that paragraph.

    1 - Your last paycheck.
    2 - Your personal property.

    And you have already been advised on what to do about that.

    By the way, resigning disqualifies you for unemployment.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    Forgive me if I rambled, I was trying to express that I had not performed anything illegal since that was questioned in your previous post. I agree the paycheck and personal property are the only things that really matter. Thank you for the advice. I assure you, I'm well aware of consequences of avoiding reality, I Choose to face it with diplomacy and an open mind first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    ...and Mississippi has quite possibly the weakest wage and hour laws in the US.
    Correct. From what I can see it offers no statutory requirement for when a final paycheck must be paid, and imposes no restrictions on employer deductions from wages; although the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would still apply.
    Quote Quoting christinalynn
    View Post
    New at job, office manager inaccurate with payroll info but won't admit fault.
    You presumably knew what you were supposed to earn, and should have had a pretty good sense of whether your paycheck was significantly higher than it was supposed to be. That appears to be the position that your employer is taking. Fault is beside the point -- if you're paid more than you've actually earned, even if it's 100% the fault of a H.R. employee, your employer can still require that you return the overpaid wages. For your to be repaying the money over a period of months, and to continue to owe money, it would appear that the overpayment was substantial.
    Quote Quoting christinalynn
    last paycheck and personal property has been retained by employer with Unacceptable written promisary demands for overpayment . What are my legal rights here?
    You have the right to your personal property. You may have to sue to have it returned.

    In terms of federal restrictions on deductions from wages, perhaps one of the employment gurus can point to something more recent than this; but that 2004 opinion suggests that overpaid wages can be deducted from a paycheck even if they reduce your pay below minimum wage.
    Quote Quoting Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Opinion FLSA2004-19NA
    Q1) Does the FLSA prohibit an employer from deducting compensation from an employee’s paycheck (without the employee’s permission) in order to reimburse itself for an overpayment inadvertently made to the employee in a previous pay check? The employee requested 75 hours of vacation in pay period one and was paid for them. The employee in fact had only 32 hours available and reported it to the department. When the employee was paid for the next pay period, 43 hours pay were deducted.

    A1) It has been our longstanding position that where an employer makes a loan or an advance of wages to an employee, the principal may be deducted from the employee’s earnings even if such deduction cuts into the minimum wage or overtime pay due the employee under the FLSA. An employer may not, however, make an assessment for administrative costs or charge any interest payment that brings the employee below the minimum wage. See Field Operations Handbook, 30c10; opinion letters dated March 20, 1998, and November 16, 1977 (enclosed). Thus the amount the department chooses to recoup in the next pay period is at the department’s discretion. It does not matter whether the deduction was made in the next pay period or several pay periods later.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    I am not aware of anything Federal that changes the above, but stand by for DAWW who has been my go-to person for payroll issues ever since Patty died and in some instances even before. State law could be more restrictive than this but as indicated, Mississippi has very weak wage and hour laws; it is unlikely in the extreme that they have implemented anything above the Federal.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Overpaid Employee Wrongfully Held 100% Accountable

    My paychecks were averaging what I was expecting. They were not substantially high. I was taking a good bit out of every check and picked up extra days to attempt a peaceful resolution. There was no contract signed at any point. I refuse to sign a promisary note including an interest rate to pay an amount of money I disagree with from the beginning. The oversight on his end should be a lesson learned when hiring new employees. The cost of being your own boss is sometimes you make mistakes and the consequence of that mistake is the reality.

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