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  1. #1
    Join Date
    15th June 2011
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    Am I obligated to return overpayment?

    A year ago, the company where I had worked for 26 years, laid me off.


    Today, I received a letter from them, that they had overpaid my severance pay by $2K, and instructed me to return the money.

    What are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
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    983
    I doubt anyone here can say for sure. It likely depends on your state laws and any contracts signed. I expect you would need a lawyer to sort it out if you want to fight it. You might also try your state department of labor. I know here, a company I worked at tried something similar with a friend that left the company and got smacked down for it once the state was made aware of it. Not exactly the same situation, but if there are state protections available, the department of labor would likely know about it. If you were a member of a union, you might contact them as well.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    6th June 2010
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    I'm not a lawyer but you may wish to get a quick opinion from one in your state.

    But what I would do depends on the paperwork.

    If they said "As severance, we are giving you $x" and you signed something to this effect as part of your exit process , and they paid you $x+2000, then you should consider negotiating with them for a reasonable repayment considering tax implications (did you pay taxes on the $2000 etc) and so on. To some extent, you should have noticed the error, like getting excess change back from a cashier.

    If the problem was in their process (they miscalculated benefits and told you you receive $x, but now realized they should have paid you $x-$2000), I would politely tell them to pound sand, including a copy of whatever paperwork you received citing the $x exit payment.

    Best wishes.
    Thou shalt not violate causality within my historic light cone. Or Else.
    NAR member 92906

  4. #4
    Join Date
    23rd July 2011
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    Get a lawyer.
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  5. #5
    Join Date
    1st July 2011
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Lawyer cost of 2K. Lol.
    Kevin Wuchevich
    Tripoli Pittsburgh
    TRA 12238

  6. #6
    Join Date
    23rd January 2009
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    If you accidentally overpaid a rocket vendor for a product do you think they would be obligated to refund the overpayment?
    John Derimiggio NAR/TRA L3
    MarsaSystems

  7. #7
    Join Date
    16th February 2014
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    Letter? What letter? Seriously. Did they send it registered mail?

    Unless you work for the federal government I doubt that they can force you to repay due to their mistake. See if you can find a pro bono lawyer to give you some advice on the matter.
    Chris Attebery
    TRA 6602 L3
    Personal best: 37,789' 1335mph

    www.ape-rc.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    7th December 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisAttebery View Post
    ...Letter? What letter?...
    +1

    File that in the circular file...
    Model rocketry is not my religion.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    27th August 2011
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    West Tennessee
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    If they laid you off, and THEY made a mistake on the pay, I recommend ignore the letter. Trying to think the worst that can happen. I am guessing if they elected to take it to court, at the point they get serious you pay the $2k rather than fight the legal battle. I doubt they would go that far, cost them more to take it to court than the 2k.

    Btw, if you do end up paying it back make sure you get an adjusted w2 so you get the taxes back.
    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
    REALLY SMART PEOPLE learn from OTHERS' mistakes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    27th December 2014
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    First of all, check your W2 to see if they actually paid you the 2K. If they did and you have a letter saying your compensation is X, then I'd ignore it at least until they start threatening harder. If they threaten or you don't have a letter, I'd call your state Attorney General's consumer protection line to find out what your rights and responsibilities are. They probably aren't the right place to ask, but they can point you the right way. If the W2 doesn't match what you were actually paid, then consult a private lawyer. That gets really sticky really fast.
    NAR L1 "Cheeto Dust", scratch 54mm, H54R (before it became a G54), Mansfield, WA
    L2 "Arc Light", Madcow 2.6" Arcas, J285CL, Mansfield, WA, recovery by snowshoe

  11. #11
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
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    Maybe you can offer to wash dishes to make up the $2K???

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Keep in mind that any costs you incur as a result of their error are their responsibility, including the value of your time.
    Thou shalt not violate causality within my historic light cone. Or Else.
    NAR member 92906

  13. #13
    Join Date
    14th March 2009
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    Ohio
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    Coming after you for $2K after they laid you off seems rather sleazy to me and not worth their effort. As others have said, run the numbers. If you think you deserve the money tell them that. Personally, I would stall and be evasive to see how persistent they are. My guess is they won't work too hard at it unless they are supreme jerks. How much are they willing to spend to recover $2K? But always be polite. Nothing gets people in a determined mood to recover something than someone who is a jerk.
    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2018: 491.6 N/s Flights: 10
    2017: 1/2A:0, A:2, B:1, C:2, D:2, E:1, F:1, G: I have NEVER launched a G motor, H:0, I:1

  14. #14
    Join Date
    11th November 2014
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    709
    I don't have much different to say than anything anybody else has said.

    1. If they didn't send the letter registered mail, pretend it never came. Nothing is serious until a document comes to you registered/certified mail or something you sign for, or you get served like a court document service.

    2. Forewarned is forearmed...if this was a poker game, they just showed you their hand. Now it is your turn to find out what the labor laws are in your state. Find out what the precedence is, so you know how to respond to the *next* letter they send...maybe you do have to return the money, but maybe you don't. Or, it might be an open question that would cost more than 2k to settle...

  15. #15
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    8th August 2014
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    I'd ask someone who isn't just some schmuck on the Rocketry forum
    -CzTeacherMan
    TRA #15280 - QCRS, Tripoli Wisconsin, WOOSH
    Level 1 - 9/28/2014 Wildman Sport on CTI H163 White Thunder
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  16. #16
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    Were you the only one that got laid off? Did others? Did others get a similar letter? Contact them, and see about a group action plan.. Then contact the company, a lawyer, local employment office, etc..

    (One place I worked at, had a lay off, 4 people I think. they then banded together, and made a case for unfair severances.. They won.)
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L2
    www.CRMRC.org
    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  17. #17
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
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    Okay ... hopefully by now LW sees that there is no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to this question!

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
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    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  18. #18
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzTeacherMan View Post
    I'd ask someone who isn't just some schmuck on the Rocketry forum
    There are schmucks here?
    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

  19. #19
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    8th August 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxQ View Post
    There are schmucks here?
    I'm the worst among them
    -CzTeacherMan
    TRA #15280 - QCRS, Tripoli Wisconsin, WOOSH
    Level 1 - 9/28/2014 Wildman Sport on CTI H163 White Thunder
    Level 2 - 5/23/2015 Wildman 3" Darkstar CTI J400 Smoky Sam
    First Mile+ & Mach+ - 9/25/2015 Wildman Punisher CTI J360 Skidmark
    Level 3 - 5/15/2016 Wildman Gizmo XL-DD-V CTI M1540 Imax

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzTeacherMan View Post
    I'm the worst among them
    LOL......
    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxQ View Post
    There are schmucks here?
    Maybe, but ya gotta watch out for the pud-knockers, they are worse than schmucks...
    NAR 92675 L-3 TRA 14800 KG7IUN
    I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    20th January 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus-cat View Post
    Coming after you for $2K after they laid you off seems rather sleazy to me and not worth their effort.
    You think that is bad.... My mother used to work as a receptionist for a doctor. She passed away and he had his lawyer send a letter to sue her estate for a $20 fee that she owed. Really. $20. Granted, this was almost 40 years ago so $20 was worth a bit more but..... $20. ???

    I spoke to the lawyer and asked if this wouldn't cost more than the $20? He agreed to drop it.
    Rocket Addict
    More...more...I'm still not satisfied (T. Lehrer)

  23. #23
    Join Date
    15th June 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayco View Post
    Maybe, but ya gotta watch out for the pud-knockers, they are worse than schmucks...
    The pud-knockers went over to YORF
    LW Bercini
    TRA #00134 / NAR #18121
    Seeing "the box" from the rear view mirror since 1970


    I don't measure my enjoyment of the hobby in Newton-Seconds

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many otherwise intelligent people have such poor reading comprehension.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by les View Post
    $20
    This is where you send them a package with 2001 pennies mixed up in a bunch of styrofoam peanuts. Then write them a letter asking for your 1 cent back.
    NAR# 99285
    Tripoli# 16283
    L1- 4/26/2015 Madcow Cowabunga- H123SK
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    Woosh
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by djs View Post
    This is where you send them a package with 2001 pennies mixed up in a bunch of styrofoam peanuts. Then write them a letter asking for your 1 cent back.
    Each penny wrapped in clear packing tape!
    more rockets then cents

  26. #26
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    18th January 2009
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    You're in GA....I'm in Ga..unless laws have changed, I would think same applies to you.


    Back in 90's similar payment of 1400.00 happened to me. I had a lawyer buddy on speed dial.
    Anyhow answer is NO, you do not have to pay it back. Of course being worried a bit I ask him to expound further.
    ''If they had any legal grounds, they would have had a judgement against you [me] and they would have attached your checking/savings what ever liquid assets you have. They don''t have any ground to stand on other than forcibly ask you return they moola"

    Once paid they can't get it back, unless in your case their is some clause in your severance package specifically stating they could. In that case you can assume they would have referenced said clause in letter sent to you.

    After a second letter sent to me I replied back: Further contact regarding this matter should be sent to my attorney & supplied his address. Never heard from them again.

    Edit:

    10 years ago my insurance Co. said they overpaid my claim by 640.00, according to them, what I got did not fully cover the loss,just weeks later they "demanded" repayment.
    I kept it and told them politely go pound salt, once again they had no legal ground to stand on. No my homeowners policy did not go up, nor did they cancel me. The only recourse either instance they had, would have been to cancel the check before it was cashed & re-issue another one in correct amount. Apparently this has been 'tested' in court.
    Last edited by blackjack2564; 6th December 2017 at 07:12 AM.
    Jim Hendricksen
    L-3 Tripoli 9693
    [ICBM, Orangeburg,SC R.I.P.] - QCRS ,Princeton ILL - MDRA , Price Maryland - Woosh, Bong Wisconsin- ROCC, Charlotte NC , ICBM Camden SC
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    Rocketry...........an exact science.......but not exactly !!!

  27. #27
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    15th June 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack2564 View Post

    Once paid they can't get it back, unless in your case their is some clause in your severance package specifically stating they could. In that case you can assume they would have referenced said clause in letter sent to you.
    One of the members of my regular Wednesday "lunch bunch" is a lawyer. I'm taking the letter and the severance agreement to show her. IIRC, the severance agreement does not specify a specific dollar amount, but only describes compensation for a specific number of weeks and vacation pay, minus taxes, etc. I'm pretty sure I can tacitly tell them to "pound salt"
    LW Bercini
    TRA #00134 / NAR #18121
    Seeing "the box" from the rear view mirror since 1970


    I don't measure my enjoyment of the hobby in Newton-Seconds

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many otherwise intelligent people have such poor reading comprehension.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    29th November 2011
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    Buford, Georgia
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    Send them a registered letter letting them know that you charge for keeping other peoples money in your account. Let them know that $2000 in storage for a year cost $4000. As soon as they pay you what they owe, you will return their money.
    *******************************************
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  29. #29
    Join Date
    25th February 2014
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    572
    i had a wee bit of a bank problem about 10 years ago. decided to close my account and move to another bank. not a major amount- only $3500 in my account. i got my cash out of one bank and went straight to another to open an account. got everything set, handed my envelope from the other ban with the (supposedly) $3500 in it. banker lady counted it and said,"do you want to hold on to this other thousand or put it into your account,too?"
    huh? i wasnt sure what to do but the banker lady was right up on those types of laws and explained it all pretty good to me, then said,"they must be giving out christmas bonuses this year to people that close accounts there."
    got a letter a bit later from old bank. took it into new bank to banker lady. she printed off the proper pages of banking laws and suggested when i send it to them to add,"have a nice day."
    in the end, the teller was responsible for extra thousand.
    seems it would be similar in your situation- accounting would be responsible for THEIR mistake.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayco View Post
    Maybe, but ya gotta watch out for the pud-knockers, they are worse than schmucks...
    HahaAAA. Nah. Pud knockers didn't make the cut, but they still flew something. You really gotta watch out for the launch pad and hanger rats at launch sites and airports. Now unlike pud knocker they'll just sit around and grumble then mooch for days without flying.


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