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Company overpaid my tuition reimbursement a year ago - now trying to make me pay.


Guest fmk
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My company paid 100% of my tuition a year ago. Because I was a "temp" employee they were only supposed to pay 50%. I didn't know this until the next time I was reimbursed - about 5 months later. The HR woman noticed the mistake, but said it was their error.

Now that I am entitled to the 100%, and am waiting for payment on 2 classes, the same woman is trying to get the overpayment back from a year ago because they were audited. She also cannot show me in writing where this is legal. Is this legal? It was their error, and it was a year ago. Is this legal?

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Even though this happened a year ago? This money has already been paid to my school. Are you a lawyer? I'm just curious. I just want to make sure I'm within my rights. They have already improperly followed other company policies that I have called them on.

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I just want to make sure I'm within my rights.

That is a question that should be directed to your attorney.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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In our unionized environment, there are specific guidelines about when a payroll or reimbursement error can be collected. For some things, it is specifically stated as one year. For others, we can (and do) go back many years. But one year is pretty much the minimum acceptable look-back period.

Which part of the previous "unjust enrichment" statement does not apply to you? They made an error. If you made an extra payment (in error) on a bill, would you expect to be reimbursed, or at least credited for the overpayment?

Because of tuition reimbursement, I gather you are taking classes. Does your institution offer any remedial classes in ethics and integrity?

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Does your institution offer any remedial classes in ethics and integrity?

FMK didn't steal money from her employer or hatch a plan to raid and abscond with the tuition plan's assets. The employer made a mistake. FMK acted in good faith, followed her company's policies and procedures, and was unaware that she'd been overpaid.

When I read FMK's original message, I got a picture of someone who's distraught because of some very recent bad news. FMK had been told that she owes money to her employer (possibly thousands of dollars?). Because she's a student and works part-time, she may not have the financial means to pay the debt. I also wonder whether FMK relied on bad information when she made her decision to enroll in classes -- would she have chosen a less expensive school, or taken fewer courses, if she'd known that her tuition wouldn't be 100% reimbursed?

To FMK - You ask us, several times, "is this legal?" This message board (or any website) isn't the place to find legal opinions, interpretations, or advice. You really do need to rely on an attorney for resolution of a legal problem. I sincerely hope things work out for you.

Lori Friedman

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Hi all - the last post hits the nail on the head. I was hoping to get some advice - thought maybe this was something someone had encountered before. But I do understand now what this message board is for.

I am very frustrated because I have been lied to, and no, I don't have the funds to pay - even though it's not much to most people. Either way, thanks for the info for those of you who understood where I was coming from.

I'm not a thief, I'm a very ethical person. I was overpaid once, and told payroll right away.

Thanks,

FMK

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