Employee Can Keep $27,000 Overpayment, Court Says

overpaid woman keeps moneyWorkers who get overpaid because of an accounting error usually find they have to pay the money back.

But in Australia, a court has ruled that an employee of a recruiting company can keep about $27,000 paid to her in error because the overpayment prevented her from getting unemployment payments.

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Victoria Supreme Court overturned a bid by TRA Global to retrieve the $27,318.48 (about $26,739 in the U.S.) that it overpaid former national operations manager Vesna Kebakoska because it would be "inequitable," the Australian news site news.com.au reports.

Kebakoska reported the payment to the federal agency responsible for issuing unemployment payments. In doing so, she was denied jobless benefits.

The amount Kebakoska received was equal to 12 weeks of her annual $129,000 salary, according to the report. TRA Global issued the payment in July 2008, when Kebakoska was laid off, because the company mistakenly believed it was obligated to do so under federal rules.

But the court found that the former employee shouldn't bear a financial loss that she wouldn't have suffered had the company not made the mistake.

Chalk one up for the little guy.

Next: Manufacturer Fined After Worker Killed By Giant Blender

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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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NIce post david:)

October 10 2011 at 6:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Keohane

A "Daniel" has come to judge us. Innocent mistakes in paying people cannot be corrected. Would the judge found the same if the company had underpaid? What should have happened is that the woman should have returned the money and the government pay the withheld unemployment benefits. Everyone, in this manner, ends up in the same position as if the error in payment was never made. This is justice & equity not judicial activism.

October 08 2011 at 6:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No employee should be required to repay any salary/work overpayment if fraud was not invovled. If the company made the mistake and it was not a conspiracy between the issuing authority and the employee then the company should be made to learn from it's mistake. If the employee is an inncoent partcipant then they should not be held acountable for the company's mistake.

October 08 2011 at 12:35 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Good not her fault the company hired an accounting idiot.

October 07 2011 at 11:51 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BEWARE.. HUNTERS's comment

I understand now. If you mistakenly overpaid for an item, then you would not want the mistake corrected. Good for you.

October 07 2011 at 11:58 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

The US is going the way of IRAN!

October 07 2011 at 9:35 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to me's comment

Hellll u mean?

October 08 2011 at 3:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Australia so much more advanced then us . Maybe they are conservative free ?

October 07 2011 at 9:15 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drbracket's comment

Sounds like just the opposite.

October 07 2011 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amen that's what justice looks like.

October 07 2011 at 7:23 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply


October 07 2011 at 7:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Nuclear Nemesis

I make it more like 11 weeks pay. If this is as accurate as a writer covering news for AOL's Daily Finance can get, no wonder the US is in trouble.

October 07 2011 at 6:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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