Workers 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.
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.
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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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