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School Lunch Lady Has To Pay Back $23,000 After She Was Paid The “Wrong Salary” For Years.

After six years of dedicated service at a cafeteria in Chilton County, Alabama, a lunchroom worker is being ordered by her employer to pay back wages that had been given to her by mistake. Christie Payne has come to the media for help after she was accused of cashing her checks, which included more money than she was supposed to receive each pay period.

Payne wanted to share her story because it is absolutely outrageous that the Chilton County employer would want her to “pay back” the money she was paid for more than half a decade. The paycheck mistake was made in 2016 when she was promoted to a managerial position. They want her to pay back a total of $23,465.40 because she was paid the “wrong salary” each paycheck.

“A review of financial records reveals that you were overpaid by the Chilton County Board of Education as follows: amount of overpayment: Gross $23,465.40. Date overpayment occurred: started 16-17 school year.”

The school district then goes on to explain why they paid Payne too much and why they were expecting her to pay back the additional money, although it was entirely the school district’s fault for the overpayment.

“Explanation of overpayment: the employee went from assistant manager to manager. The employee should have started at step 0 of the manager schedule but was given years of experience as an assistant. As of March 31, 2022, you have been overpaid $23.465.40. Every month this is not taken care of will add the amount of $254 to the total.”

Payne then blocks out sensitive information in the letter, which continues in the following paragraph.

“We propose the following repayment schedule. 1) The amount of $325.91 to be taken from your checks starting with April 2022 and for the next 72 months. 2) You can pay $3,910.90 once a year for the next six years. 3) You can pay in one lump sum.”

Unfortunately, Payne was stuck in a hard space because the Alabama school district failed to properly pay her the right amount of money for a number of years.

The letter added, “If you object to the overpayment amount or wish to propose another repayment schedule, you must submit a written response, alternate repayment plan, and it must be received in the Finance Department within seven calendar days upon the receipt of this letter.”

As of right now, it is unclear what Payne plans to do or how she will respond to the school district’s request for repayment.

Payne has been working in the lunchroom for the last six years and says she loves her job. It’s hard to imagine that the school would want her to pay back such a large sum of money, especially given the fact that it was their mistake in the first place. Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending, and Payne will be able to keep her job and not have to worry about repaying such a large sum of money.

Do you think the school district is in the wrong for asking Payne to repay the money? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.