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I worked for a large corporation in Texas, USA. I put in my two week notice and it just so happened that my last day fell on Good Friday. So, I was forced to turn all my equipment in on Thursday since no one would be there on Friday. I received my normal salary pay check. A few weeks later I got a letter stating that I was overpaid and would need to send a check equivalent to one day's pay back to them. At first I blew them off thinking it was ridiculous, but then I received a second letter where they stated they would turn me over to collections if they did not receive full payment in two weeks. I was just wondering if they have any grounds here. Or what US/Texas law says, if anything, about situations like this.

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    You may have signed a contract or endorsed a company handbook that includes this provision (though if you didn't receive severance pay, you are no longer receiving consideration to abide by their contract). I have signed a permission to allow errors to be corrected from direct deposit. But barring that, if they're sending you "nastygrams" about going to collections, send them a nastygram back demanding the documentation required by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. – user662852 Jun 20 '17 at 3:41
  • When was the end of the pay period? And when was payday? I worked for a company that paid you on the day the pay period ended. They always had trouble with the last paycheck. – mhoran_psprep Jun 20 '17 at 4:31
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    What a bummer situation. Yeah, tell them you need full documentation from them explaining why you wouldn't be paid for that holiday day. – Fattie Jun 20 '17 at 10:49
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    Related on Workplace.SE, from the other perspective: Standard for paying an employee when the last two days of notice are a holiday – Ben Miller Jun 20 '17 at 13:44
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    Did you have any accrued sick/vacation/PTO time left? What became of any sick/vacation/PTO accrual? – quid Jun 20 '17 at 16:44
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This question seems better suited for Law.SE, and I am not a lawyer, but here is my understanding of the situation.

Yes, they have the right to do this. Texas is an "at-will" employment state, which basically means that, unless you have a specific contract in place or there is a company-wide policy in writing that states otherwise, you can be terminated at any time with or without cause.

If they terminate you without cause, you can request/appeal for Unemployment benefits. This would apply if you are considered to have been "discharged" (terminated without cause). Your case, however, is addressed specifically on the website of the Texas Workforce Commission:

If the employee gives notice of intent to resign by a definite date two weeks or less in the future and you accept the notice early at your convenience, it will be regarded as a resignation, not a discharge.

Again, if there is a company-wide policy in writing regarding how two-week notices and/or holiday pay are handled for resigning employees, you may have a leg to stand on in a UI claim for this single day's pay (assuming things get that far). Otherwise, they have every right to come after you for the extra amount.

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    But can they retroactively change the date they accepted the notice? Until the letter claiming they overpaid, everything everyone did was consistent with a termination date of the Friday. – Ganesh Sittampalam Jun 20 '17 at 19:05
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    @Ganesh I don't necessarily agree. Clearly, the employer at some point communicated to the employee that the final day of employment would be Thursday, since all of the equipment had to be turned in on that date. I suspect that the timing of that particular communication might factor in here. – Wesley Marshall Jun 20 '17 at 23:05
  • I don't think turning in the equipment on the most convenient day automatically implies the end of employment, particularly if the stated reason was simply that nobody would be around to receive it the next day. But I'm not used to at-will employment. – Ganesh Sittampalam Jun 20 '17 at 23:36
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Did you work the day in question? No. So you are not entitled to pay.

They are in the right. However, if you do send them the check back it is likely your W-2 will reflect that you were paid for Good Friday. Most payroll software makes it very hard to undo a paycheck.

If it was me, I would ask for an amended paycheck for this reason. "Yes, you are correct I did not work that day so I do not deserve to be paid. However, I would need a amended pay stub reflecting that I did not receive income for that day, then I would be happy to pay back any extra monies I received."

Something like that will probably end it right there.

If they do send it to collections, expect the collection agent to lie and cheat. They will promise you things with no intention of delivery. Do not send them any money until you have all the things you desire up front.

You could also ignore it. A friend of mine received a signing bonus with a one year minimum employment condition. He left 5 months later. Same kind of letter and the collections agent portrayed himself as a lawyer, and promised him he won all kinds of similar cases in court, yada, yada, yada. Five years later, he is still waiting for the court notice. Nothing came of it, despite being about $5k. I doubt they will come after you for one day's pay.

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    Nobody works on a paid holiday. You're implying that nobody is entitled to holiday pay, which is obviously false. – JBC Jun 20 '17 at 14:41
  • Your logic is twisted. Do people not work on holidays and not get paid? Yes. In the same company some are paid and some are not. It is not right, but a benefit. A very large difference. De'Morgan's theorem is your friend. – Pete B. Jun 20 '17 at 14:47
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    "Did you work the day in question": arguably the OP did. Following a broad custom of two weeks notice, OP gave a termination date on a Friday. The company accepted this. Later, for the convenience of the company, OP returned equipment on Thursday. The OP may claim they were available, to work as directed on the Friday. OP was apparently salaried, so I suppose another approach is to prorate the holidays elapsed YTD over the holiday total to see if they were above or below the running average at end day. That may or may not work out to the OPS advantage though... – user662852 Jun 20 '17 at 15:36
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    @PeteB. If the company agreed to give OP holidays with full pay as a benefit, as is common for salaried workers in the US, then OP should be entitled to that benefit until their employment ends. – Nosrac Jun 20 '17 at 17:36
  • Most lawyers will not bother with litigation for suits less than $10k, which explains your friend's situation. OP could most likely ignore this as well if they don't mind dealing with collections agents harassing them for the next 7 years. – Ivan Jun 20 '17 at 18:17

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