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Getting paid for nothing! Do I need to do anything? [Solved]

Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2CWhen's KoFRegistered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
This summer I got a job teaching a course at a Community College. Once the semester ended, I stopped working there and moved 3 hours away to greener pastures. I just saw that they deposited another paycheck into my bank account the other day, which seems strange since its been a few weeks since the last week of the semester. I'm not sure if its actually my last legitimate paycheck or not though. I was going to wait and see if I got another deposit from them before actually doing anyting.

Question is: am I obligated by law to inform their HR that I'm getting free money? This is in Florida btw.

Folken Fanel on

Posts

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Obligated? No idea. Should you? Yes. Unless they totally fucked you over (and even if they did), I would never want to meet the kind of person mean enough to take advantage of the situation like that.

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited August 2008
    You are obligated to tell them and can get in trouble for stealing if you don't.

  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    What was your pay period when you were on the job? If you were paid bi-monthly or similar, you would've only received your final paycheque for the last two weeks you worked another two weeks after your last day. Do you get a stub with your paycheque indicating what dates you were paid for?

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  • Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    This is in the state that wasn't even obligated to elect the correct president. I think you're safe, as long as you play the I-didn't-know card. Just to be safe, you should probably leave the money in your bank account for a few months... unless you have no problem coughing up the dough if the uni comes asking.

    ಠ_ರೃ wrote: »
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  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Its direct deposit. I just looked at the pay stub and its for the first pay period that I stopped working there. I guess it is illegitimate. I really don't feel like going through the hassle of fixing this when its their mistake and not mine. Do I really have to go through this?

  • WalterWalter Registered User
    edited August 2008
    This is in the state that wasn't even obligated to elect the correct president. I think you're safe, as long as you play the I-didn't-know card. Just to be safe, you should probably leave the money in your bank account for a few months... unless you have no problem coughing up the dough if the uni comes asking.

    This is awful advice. You are obligated and it is theft if you keep the money. The i-don't-know card would honestly probably work if its just one extra paycheck but if it happens again you are better off telling them. Big institutions take time to track down their money but they WILL eventually find it.

  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yes, especially if it's a state funded college. They won't take too kindly if they start going over the books and find they gave you money they shouldn't have, then they'll try to get it back. Better to be on the safe side. However, do not let them withdraw the money from your account. Don't give that permission. Just ask if you can send them a check or something.

    Better safe than sorry, especially when dealing with government monies.

  • Raziel078Raziel078 Registered User
    edited August 2008
    uhh yeah. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it unless you can prove you couldn't reasonably know the law. In this case you obviously noticed the free money. The simplest explanation might also be the correct one in this case so do what Dark Moon said and check the stub for payment dates. My advice is to check the stub if there is one. If there isn't one and during next pay period you get another check for work you didn't do contact them and explain what happened and ask them to double check weather or not you should be getting this money or not. Or you could go with Zombie and Richard's advice and keep the money as someone who is currently pretty poor I would have a hard time giving up free money. But if you are cool financially I don't see the point in stealing.

    I would like to put something clever and about me but I fear my company will find it
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Its direct deposit. I just looked at the pay stub and its for the first pay period that I stopped working there. I guess it is illegitimate. I really don't feel like going through the hassle of fixing this when its their mistake and not mine. Do I really have to go through this?

    I'm pretty sure a call would probably fix it.

    Don't make excuses why you shouldn't do this.

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  • Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Dude. I hate to be the devil on your shoulder, but keep the damn money. Buy a Wii or a really expensive hooker. If the feds come asking for the money back, just fake a heart attack.

    It worked for this guy.

    It can work for you too.

    ಠ_ರೃ wrote: »
    cats are douches
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    This pertains to a different state so take it as you will.

    My Dad got a settlement from disability, looked legit and all legal like. They then came back and said it was an overpayment. My Dad had already bought a house with it so he ended up having to set a payment schedule to give them the money back. It may be easier in the long run to just err on the side of caution and write the school a check.

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  • wasted pixelswasted pixels Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Its direct deposit. I just looked at the pay stub and its for the first pay period that I stopped working there. I guess it is illegitimate. I really don't feel like going through the hassle of fixing this when its their mistake and not mine. Do I really have to go through this?

    I've seen this exact situation before, happened to an ex of mine. They wound up saying the error was their fault and not trying to get the money out of her, so she wound up giving it to charity instead.

    It's very natural to want to keep the money when someone makes the real-life equivalent of Monopoly's "bank error in your favor", but it's seldom the right (or legal) thing to do. You should at least offer to make things right, and if they decide to reward your honesty by letting you keep the money, then you can blow it on a wild party.

    And let me second what someone said about paying it back with a check (or better, a post office money order -- you can ask them to remburse you for that). If they couldn't manage their accounting to begin with, don't trust them to make a withdrawl from your account.

    BTW, I got a message from Obs that equated installing OS X on a PC with car theft, murder and rape. Is he normally like that?
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited August 2008
    Keeping this is fraud and would be very illegal. You clearly know this and are trying to find any excuse for keeping it but none of them are legal.

  • tofutofu Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I work for the federal government and they overpaid me by accident. I can't imagine dealing with your community college can be harder than dealing with the feds.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If they have indeed overpaid you, they will definitely not let you skate with the cash if the error is discovered.

    If it is one check, pleading ignorance will probably prevent you from being charged with a crime, but you won't be allowed to keep the money. If they continue to pay you, best to call them pretty much immediately, cause the "I didn't know" defense is less effective the longer this goes on.

    There is also the possible that it represents correct compensation, and was just delayed for some reason. At this in this state, the school would often do weird things with paychecks, depending on what sort of budget they were given and when (higher ed lives pretty hand to mouth.) I don't know when your summer semester ended, but given that it's still august it seems decently likely that it could just be your last legit paycheck.

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    if the rapture don't come cousin, then pass the guns
    I'll burn'em for the return of my investment funds
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Here is what you need to do:
    • Do not just keep the money.
    • Do not just write them a check.
    • Call them, and inform them of the error. Take note of who you talk to, and if they ask you to simply send them a check, request some form of receipt with an explanation for what the check is for in writing.
    • If calling them does not resolve the issue, send them a registered letter. Keep a copy for yourself, and place the money in an interest-bearing savings account. Do not touch it, ever.

    They can come back on you for this money ten, twenty, fifty years down the line; there's no statute of limitations on this. And sometimes bureaucracies can be really fucked up, and make this stuff very difficult on you (yes, they will make you giving them money difficult on you). Recording everything like I say above will help cover your ass.

  • Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User
    edited August 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Here is what you need to do:
    • Do not just keep the money.
    • Do not just write them a check.
    • Call them, and inform them of the error. Take note of who you talk to, and if they ask you to simply send them a check, request some form of receipt with an explanation for what the check is for in writing.
    • If calling them does not resolve the issue, send them a registered letter. Keep a copy for yourself, and place the money in an interest-bearing savings account. Do not touch it, ever.

    They can come back on you for this money ten, twenty, fifty years down the line; there's no statute of limitations on this. And sometimes bureaucracies can be really fucked up, and make this stuff very difficult on you (yes, they will make you giving them money difficult on you). Recording everything like I say above will help cover your ass.

    This. I remember hearing about this shit happening on Yahoo news a long awhile back (maybe 2 years? somewhere along there) about a guy getting an extra paycheck after he quit his job, which he should not have gotten. It was pretty fat, and 5 years after the fact, his old company comes back to him and asks for the money back plus interest. So really, be safe with this one.

  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Here is what you need to do:
    • Do not just keep the money.
    • Do not just write them a check.
    • Call them, and inform them of the error. Take note of who you talk to, and if they ask you to simply send them a check, request some form of receipt with an explanation for what the check is for in writing.
    • If calling them does not resolve the issue, send them a registered letter. Keep a copy for yourself, and place the money in an interest-bearing savings account. Do not touch it, ever.

    They can come back on you for this money ten, twenty, fifty years down the line; there's no statute of limitations on this. And sometimes bureaucracies can be really fucked up, and make this stuff very difficult on you (yes, they will make you giving them money difficult on you). Recording everything like I say above will help cover your ass.

    Thanks all, I'll probably give HR a call today.

    What is this "registered letter" you speak of and how do I write one?

  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm guessing a registered letter is one you sign for accepting. Over here at least, you write it, take it to the post office, and they'll process it, and have the mailman ask for a signature of receipt.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Here is what you need to do:
    • Do not just keep the money.
    • Do not just write them a check.
    • Call them, and inform them of the error. Take note of who you talk to, and if they ask you to simply send them a check, request some form of receipt with an explanation for what the check is for in writing.
    • If calling them does not resolve the issue, send them a registered letter. Keep a copy for yourself, and place the money in an interest-bearing savings account. Do not touch it, ever.

    They can come back on you for this money ten, twenty, fifty years down the line; there's no statute of limitations on this. And sometimes bureaucracies can be really fucked up, and make this stuff very difficult on you (yes, they will make you giving them money difficult on you). Recording everything like I say above will help cover your ass.
    Thanks all, I'll probably give HR a call today.

    What is this "registered letter" you speak of and how do I write one?
    Like SanderJK says, it's a letter that they have to sign for. And I meant "certified letter," not "registered letter." If you go down to the post office, they'll tell you how to send one. It'll cost a couple of bucks, but if they make things difficult over the phone, a certified letter sent to them with proof of delivery (the post office will send you their signature as proof that they got it) will legally cover your ass if they come back on you a few months/years down the line.

  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Ah right. I got confused by the word "registered."

    This place is notorious for having their heads up their asses with respect to these kinds of things. I'm really not looking forward to making this phone call...

  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yes, return the money. Some woman in MN got prison time for keeping a million dollar check she wasn't entitled to. I think that's just an extreme case of what you're looking at. And those checks could keep coming, which will screw things up even more.

  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Just got off the phone with HR. Apparently the last day of summer semester was on a saturday, but the pay period ends on a friday. Turns out I was supposed to get the check because of the overlap. Sweet.

    Thanks everyone.

This discussion has been closed.