We learned this week that a Chilean employee received 300 times his monthly salary for May. He became a millionaire in Chilean pesos because he received more than 172,000 euros. He reported the mistake to his superior, and promised to pay back the amount. Then he sent a resignation letter and disappeared with the money. Although the company has filed a formal complaint, it is unclear what the court will rule.
Although such a big mistake is unlikely, it raises the question of whether an employee is obligated to pay for an error made in company policy. The law on the subject is decrypted.
An employer might ask an employee to pay back the overpayment if they make such an error. The two sides can come to an amicable agreement. The employer can garnish wages for the remainder of the month if the employee refuses to pay the money immediately, particularly if it is a large amount.
Service-Public.fr indicates that garnishment on remuneration can only be up to 10% of the net salary. The maximum amount of garnishment on remuneration for overpayments is 10% of the net salary. This amount must be spread over multiple months.
The simulator on Service-Public.fr allows you to calculate exactly the maximum amount an employer can withhold from a payslip. This figure is determined using a scale that takes into consideration both the salary and the dependents.
The employer can refer the matter if the employee refuses repayment of an overpayment to the industrial tribunal. The employee has three years from the time he realized the error to start the process. It is too late for the industrial tribunal to be seized after this time.
If the employer withholds a portion of the salary in order to get reimbursement, and the employee feels that there has been damage, he may appeal to the industrial tribunal.
The former employer can request reimbursement if the employee is not under contract with the company at the time of the error or if the employee has already resigned, as in the case of the Chilean.
However, he cannot request reimbursement for amounts paid in the three years preceding the termination of the contract. The employee can keep the money if there was an overpayment made more than three years before the contract ended.