How long do companies have to take back overpayments?

Overpayment collection

The occurrence of overpayments in business transactions with employees is not uncommon and can stem from various reasons. Often, companies may find themselves unsure about the timeframe within which they can rectify such errors and reclaim overpaid amounts from their employees. Understanding the rules, regulations, and the specific duration available for rectification is crucial for businesses.

In this blog, we will look into the essential details about the salary overpayment recovery time limit or window within which companies can collect overpayments related to salary or other payments ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the process and regulatory considerations.

Related Webinars
Overtime Computations for Nonexempt Employees
Jun 13th 2024 @ 01:00 PM ET
Speaker: Patrick A. Haggerty, EA
Learn More
Audits for 2024: Surviving Those of the Agencies and Conducting Your Own
Jun 25th 2024 @ 01:00 PM ET
Speaker: Vicki M. Lambert, CPP
Learn More
Payroll Overpayments: Handling them Correctly in 2024
Jul 11th 2024 @ 01:00 PM ET
Speaker: Vicki M. Lambert, CPP
Learn More

Decoding Timeline: How Long Companies Have to Reclaim Overpayments.

1. A legal perspective

Legal parameters and jurisdictional nuances play a role in defining the window available for companies to reclaim overpayments. The duration within which a company can recover mistakenly disbursed funds is often dictated by the relevant statute of limitations, introducing a crucial aspect to consider in the process. Depending on state and federal law, this legal timeline can change.

  • New York: Three years for overpayment of wages or salary, six years for overpayment of other types of compensation.
  • Texas: Two years for overpayment of wages or salary, four years for overpayment of other types of compensation.
  • California: Two years for overpayment of wages or salary, three years for overpayment of other types of compensation.

Procrastination in addressing overpayments can exacerbate the recovery process for companies. Therefore, it is advisable for companies to stay informed about such crucial details and try to recover the money as soon as possible.

2. Agreements with Employees

At times, companies enter into contracts with employees, like voluntary repayment agreements, to streamline the process of recovering overpaid amounts. These agreements comprehensively outline details such as the timeline, reporting mechanisms, methods, and other pertinent factors related to the repayment process of overpaid amounts.

3. Employee Contracts and Company Policy

The timeframe for reclaiming overpayments can also be influenced by the terms and conditions outlined in employment contracts and the company policy. It is crucial for companies to thoroughly examine the details provided in both employee contracts and the company policy regarding overpayments, including the timeframes and processes for recovery. This knowledge is beneficial for both parties involved, providing clear guidance on the necessary steps to take in the event of an overpayment scenario.

4. Employee or the Party to Whom the Overpayment is Made

This factor can also play a role in determining the time for reclaiming overpayments. For instance, if the company shares a positive relationship with the employee or the party to whom the overpayment was made, effective and open communication can facilitate the retrieval of overpaid amounts, even after the legal timeframe for recovery has passed.


The timeline for companies to reclaim overpayments is multifaceted, involving legal considerations, contractual agreements with employees, and the terms outlined in both employee contracts and company policy. Adhering to the relevant statute of limitations, being proactive in addressing overpayments, and fostering open communication with employees or parties involved are key strategies for effective recovery. Staying well-informed about these crucial details ensures a smoother and more efficient process, emphasizing the importance of clarity and timely action in handling overpayment scenarios.

Stay Updated

Don’t miss any latest payroll update
Share Now

About Us

At Payroll Pro Guide, we’re dedicated to offering top-quality payroll insights, news, and blogs to enhance your expertise.

Recent Posts


Don’t miss....

Any latest payroll update

confirm your email

Your signup is almost complete! Please check your email for a confirmation message.
Grab our FREE

e-Books on Payroll Management