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Employee did not tell company that she was over paid (payroll error).

Chicago, IL |

An employee did not tell the company that she was overpaid. It was discovered in an audit. Can the company fire her for not reporting it? What discipline actions can be done against employee that did not report it if she had knowledge about the employee?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Illinois is an at-will employment state. That means that unless there is an employment or union contract that says otherwise, you can fire the employee for any reason, or even no reason at all, provided the reason is not based on the employee's membership in a protected class such as race, national origin, etc.

By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.


The employee, under these circumstances, should probably be happy that the employer did not seek to bring criminal charges as well, which would be their right under the right conditions.

As the other lawyer noted, "at will" means you can be fired for any or no reason just like you can quit for any or no reason. It would be surprising if the employee was permitted to keep her job under the circumstances because this amounts to a fraud even though the employee did not take action to possess the money, by their omission the offense was committed. That said, the facts really matter and if there was a very good explanation perhaps it can be excused, but that is not what is indicated here.

If any charges are brought or if the employee is contacted by law enforcement they should consult a criminal lawyer at once before making any statements to the police are anyone else.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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