Employee Can Keep $27,000 Overpayment, Court Says

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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.

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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