I was laid off on October 28, 2016 and HPE direct deposit my benefits check twice.

I received my benefits warn check via direct deposit, 3 days later I got a second direct deposit in the same amount. I spoke with someone else that was let go and they too had received a second check. Now 2 weeks later HPE send me a request for me to cut them a personal check back as they did this in error.

I know morally and ethically I should return the money, However, do I legally need to return it?

1 answer  |  asked Dec 10, 2016 1:09 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
I am sorry to hear about the layoff. These are hard times, even though the economy has been improving.

If you were paid money you were not entitled to, there are consequences for trying to keep it. HPE can sue you to recover the money. A lawsuit, even in small claims, sucks up a lot of time AND is a public record, so any future potential employer or creditor can easily see the court records. If you will be looking for work in the future, HPE may not give you a good reference or even a neutral reference; it may give you a negative reference. In almost every situation I can think of, a negative reference will be completely lawful as long as the information conveyed is truthful. Do you want HPE to tell a potential employer that you refused to return a payment you were not entitled to receive?

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Dec 10, 2016 4:19 PM [EST]

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