Twice As Precious

If you paid a worker more than you should, ruled the Supreme Court of Russia, the employee may take the surplus.

In the summer of 2010 gas station operator P. left her job. The company, mistakenly, transferred to P’s account bonus and compensation for unused vacation twice. When, a month later, the company’s accountants saw the error and asked the money back, the ex-employee refused to do so.

Russia's Supreme Court has ruled that an over-paid salary or bonus cannot be recovered as unjustified enrichment unless an employer can prove that the extra money was paid as a result of an arithmetic error or because of an employee’s fault. A computer glitch that makes the same payment twice does not, says the court, qualify as an arithmetic error and, therefore, is not good enough to demand the money back.