Duplicate salary payment received

76 posts in this topic

I just realized yesterday that I was probably paid for the month of April twice: once via check, followed up two weeks later by the same amount via transfer (both deposits show on my bank account). I am still a full-timer at the same place in Hamburg-Harburg. The money is long gone, and I do not think I am capable of saving enough to give it back since my paycheck is minimal (about 1K after taxes) and I need every cent to live.

 

Can anyone enlighten me as to my legal obligations and options?

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Legally, you have to give the money back if they spot the error, your finical situation is of no concern. End of Discussion

On the Other hand, if they haven't caught it by now they prob. won't. So don't say anything to them and pray they don't

discover their error on their own.

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Methinks you have a problem!

 

One the one hand, if neither you nor your company have noticed the error until now, then it would be very easy to continue not to notice it...

On the other hand, being as honest as the next guy, you really should point out the error ...

 

oh dear, I´m glad it´s not my problem!

 

(I think my tendency would be not to have noticed it, if that´s any help!)

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depends when the companies end of year (financial) is... just because they havnt spotted it yet, doesnt mean that they won't when the beancounters do their thing at the end of the year and go...hmmm CKD seems to have had a pay rise... Unless of course it was a bank error...

 

not that either means you get to keep it... you might be lucky, but methinks you will need to save like mad to make sure you can pay it back when they come demanding... (you could try negiotiating...)

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Generally, you do have to notify your employer and pay the money back. If you only receive a small amount by mistake it can be assumed that is it absorbed into your normal upkeep spending. If the amount received is, however, substantial this assumption is not valid. You are treading on thin ground here as the payment was acutally substantial, i.e. twice what you usually receive, but since your takehome pay is fairly low any rationally thinking person would assume that it was indeed absorbed into your normal upkeep spending over the last six months.

 

Internetratgeber Recht

 

 

1. Hat der Arbeitgeber irrtümlich eine höhere Vergütung gezahlt, als vereinbart, so muss der Arbeitnehmer den überzahlten Betrag grundsätzlich zurückzahlen, denn er ist insoweit ungerechtfertigt bereichert.

 

2. Wusste der Arbeitnehmer allerdings nicht, dass er überzahlt wurde und hat er das Geld zwischenzeitlich ausgegeben, so kann er sich auf den Wegfall der Bereicherung berufen. Hat die Überzahlung 10 Prozent des Lohns nicht überstiegen, wird bei unteren und mittleren Einkommen vermutet, dass die erhaltenen Beträge verbraucht sind.

Ist ein Arbeitnehmer dagegen Bezieher eines höheren Gehalts, muss er für den Einwand der Entreicherung nachweisen, dass er sich zusätzlichen Luxus geleistet hat.

 

3. Hat der Arbeitnehmer das überzahlte Geld allerdings gespart, so hat er Pech gehabt: Er ist dann nämlich nicht entreichert und muss deshalb die überzahlten Beträge wieder zurückzahlen.

It's your call. If your employer does demand reimbursement you can prove that the money has been spent for your upkeep; on the other hand you should have noticed the duplicate payment, if only because your monthly salary was lasting longer than usual.

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If they ask for it play stupid. In Germany there are months where a lot of employers actually do give you double pay. Some companies do this in Nov (Christmas money) and some in early summer. Say you thought it was one of these payments you had heard about.

 

In anycase, if you are lucky enough to get Christmas money, it probably would be a good idea to set that money aside for a few months until you know for sure if you are in the clear.

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Don't say a word. Similar stuff has happened to me and I never told a soul! As a couple of other people pointed out, pray that this is never ever spotted and thank your lucky stars. They are underpaying you anyway so you deserve the extra money <_<

 

If they do happen to spot it someday, pretend you hadn't noticed and explain you can't pay it all back at once and then ask them if they can take say 50-100 Euro out of your pay packet each month until you've paid it off.

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This is very very interesting to read the responses, because of course it is THEFT. No messing about - this is THEFT from the company. The minute you become aware of the issue and decide NOT to return the money it instantly turns it from an error to a theft.

 

If for example someone here had written:

 

"I have noticed where the company keeps their petty cash hidden and I'm thinking I might open the tin and steal €1,000 - what do you lot think?"

 

We would have the normal TT moral high grounders up in arms.

 

I am so used to the massive politically correct lobby I am rather surprised at the responses, and also the rather amusing rationale being

used to excuse the crime such as:

 

1. He doesn't earn much anyway, so probably deserves an extra €1,000.

2. It was a few months ago so more easily forgotten.

 

Don't get me wrong. My interest here is not the €1,000, or the company, or the punter and I am not saying I would return the cash myself in the same position.

 

I am just amazed how easily the TTers can accept this crime and go so bonkers about every other misdemeanor.

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I think I'm with the last point. If something's not mine, it's not mine. No interest in taking it, having other people's stuff. I *have* had it by the way - it's surprisingly common for my customers to do it. I just tell them and send it back.

 

It's not yours - any more than if you decide to take a company laptop or whatever. You didn't earn it. Give it back. No point rationalising it by saying it's OK because the job is low paid or whatever, that's irrelevant. Ans the fact that you "didn't notice" is down to you.

 

Turn it round. You paid someone twice by accident. What would like that other party to do? Give you it back? Or just say: "great, free cash that someone else was stupid enough to pay me twice"? Followed by "no, sorry, already spent it" if you did happen to notice and ask for it back. What goes round tends to come round. Karma and all that.

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Well I must say I agree with Johnny English here. Also he did say"probably been paid twice" so the best thing to to is to query it, maybe it is a correct payment.

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You should let them know and work out an installment plan to pay it back. They will discover their cock up eventually, so it's best for you to approach them and not the other way round.

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I am just amazed how easily the TTers can accept this crime and go so bonkers about every other misdemeanor.

Just remember TT is made up of a mix of all sorts of people. So it's typically different people responding at different times.

Although I do get tempted to lump all of Toytown together ("typical bloody Toytown!")when those TTwat-posters stomp all over a sensible thread.

 

I'd still be tempted just to forget about the double payment. They'll probably ask for it at some stage. But in the mean time, enjoy it!

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I am so used to the massive politically correct lobby I am rather surprised at the responses, and also the rather amusing rationale being

used to excuse the crime such as:

 

1. He doesn't earn much anyway, so probably deserves an extra €1,000.

2. It was a few months ago so more easily forgotten.

For the records, I wasn't stating my opinion. I translated the quoted German text, giving the necessary information and leaving the decision up to the OP. I couldn't find any specific statute of limitation on the employer's right to demand compensation so it's probably the regular three years from the time the employer realizes his mistake. If the OP wants to live in doubt and aprehension that long, so be it.

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If you need "every cent to live", how the hell can you not notice an extra 1000euros being spent??? :huh:

 

@ JE

 

 

I am just amazed how easily the TTers can accept this crime and go so bonkers about every other misdemeanor.

Sunday tends to be "Robin Hood day" on TT I've noticed. All the best crimes can be announced and everyone just goes "awwww bless, he did try to be nice though eh?".

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I would suggest you go through your bank statements and verify that you did indeed receive a double payment. If that's the case, then just be honest with your employer. I would imagine they will be able to work something out with you if you're up front with them and say, "Hey- I just noticed I was paid twice for April. Unfortunately I can't hand it all back to you at once. Can you take a bit out of my paycheck at a time until it's covered?" They'll have much more respect for you than if you try to be shifty about it.

 

PS- Nice post, Mr. English.

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Don't get me wrong. My interest here is not the €1,000, or the company, or the punter and I am not saying I would return the cash myself in the same position.

 

I am just amazed how easily the TTers can accept this crime and go so bonkers about every other misdemeanor.

I think that the reason this is acceptable to me is because in my mind its not a 'crime'. Your example of nicking from petty cash is totally different - that's willful theft. This is where a company made a mistake - it was their incompetence and no matter what anybody else says, I would still keep the cash. If I earned loads and didn't need the money then I would certainly pay it back or at least query it but if I was in the OPs position (or indeed my own position) then I'd keep it. I'm hoping that my company will make a similar mistake in the near future!

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Agreed 100% with Fallen Angel and Johnny English.

Return the money, and pay it off in rates. Even with only €1000 a month you should be able to put some aside every month, many people live off less money.

I also think it would be likely that they find out at the end of the year. But of course make sure first that you were indeed paid twice.

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@Buffy- If the money is not rightfully yours, then it's stealing. Willful theft... as opposed to what? Unwillful theft? It's not theft at all IF YOU GIVE THE MONEY BACK. If you choose to keep it knowing that it doesn't belong to you, then you are, as TBFB would say, a "thieving pikey bastard"... imho.

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Im surprised noone mentioned the other potential problem with keeping money that doesnt belong to you. If an employer finds out that one of his employees got paid too much and kept the money though knowing better, he might loose interest in employing him any longer. He might not be able to fire him right away, but certainly could make his life miserable.

 

So if you dont want to do the right thing because it´s ethical - do it to protect your job. <_<

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