"overpaid" wages are being taken back without any notice

I used work for my employer for 25 hours a week. I then cut my hours down to 10 hours a week due to other obligations. They pay two weeks in advance, so if you didnt work the scheduled hours, the next check would be adjusted to reflect that. Ive been with them 9 months. I made the hours change in the end of December or begining of January. They have docked 10 hours from my check from 3 checks ago, has not sent me a check from 2 checks ago, and have docked me 5 hours from Fridays check. They say I was overpaid and now I owe them 64 hours and they will take 10 hours every week until it is repaid. They did this without my knowledge and without any notice. I only work 10 hours a week and I dont know what to do. I missing one entire paycheck along with other hours. I asked them if they could mail me documention of how i was overpaid they said tehy r stilll running a case on this issue. To my knowledge i was not overpaid. If anything it was the one week in advance I was paid from the begining. They have already docked 15 hours from two checks and the 27.75 hours from the missing check. They say i owe them 64 hours. Yet they have already taken back 42.75. yet that number does affect the 64 hours they say owe. I hope I explained this well enough..Please tell me there is something LEGALLY WRONG with my problem...

1 answer  |  asked Mar 1, 2005 9:40 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
Your employer may not take back more overpaid wages than were paid.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, although an employer may take back wages that were overpaid, they may not take back more wages than were overpaid.

Pre-payment of wages is highly unusual, partially for this reason. "Adjusting" already-paid wages is time-consuming, frustrates employees and can lead to liability for the employer. If your employer is taking back more wages than were overpaid, you should send them a writing, preferably a letter via certified mail, that calculates out the wages that were overpaid, the wages that were withheld, and the total owing you, and demanding immediate payment of outstanding wages. If they do not pay you the wages owed, you may sue them in small claims court (District Court) for the wages owed, a 25% penalty and the costs of suing them.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
401 City Line Avenue,
Suite 904
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585
Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Mar 2, 2005 08:21 AM [EST]

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