Lunchroom Worker Demanded To Return $23k After School Accidentally Pays Out Incorrect Salary For Years

A lunchroom manager in Alabama has been ordered to pay back thousands after six years of inflated paychecks. 

Christie Payne posted a letter last week from the school system informing her she owes $23,465.50 as she was paid the wrong salary following her promotion to manager in 2016.

lunchroom worker demanded to return $23k after school accidentally pays out incorrect salary for years
Image via Shutterstock

The letter offered Payne the following three repayment plans:

  • One lump sum
  • A yearly payment of $3,910.90 for the next six years
  • An additional $325.91 taken from each paycheck for the next 72 months

The letter also stated how an additional $254 will be added to the total each month the balance is not paid back.

Since then, a second Chilton County schools employee has received a repayment demand letter from her district after it overpaid her nearly $33,000 over the past four years, according to the Alabama Education Association.

lunchroom worker demanded to return $23k after school accidentally pays out incorrect salary for years
Image via Christie Payne

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AEA Uniserv Director Tracy LeSieur informed AL.com how the district has given the employee, who became a teacher at the start of the 2018-19 school year after spending the previous 12 years as a school nurse, only four years to repay $32,958.

In a statement provided to AL.com, Superintendent Jason Griffin said he couldn’t comment on personnel matters, adding, “The Chilton County Board of Education recently discovered several overpayments. These overpayments date back several years, and were initiated prior to the tenure of the current Finance Department, Superintendent and Board.”

Griffin states that the law requires the district to recoup the overpayments.

“We are mindful of the financial impact that this matter can have on our employees, and we are working to balance that impact with our obligation to recover the funds.”

lunchroom worker demanded to return $23k after school accidentally pays out incorrect salary for years
Image via Shutterstock

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“I met with [Payne] on Friday,” LeSieur said. “She was assigned attorneys, and the attorneys have reached out to Mr. Griffin.”

LeSieur revealed how this type of mistake is rare and this is the first time she has seen it happen to teachers.

“I’ve occasionally seen some problems with overpayment for support professionals,” she said, “but these are the first two of this type of overpayment that I’ve worked with.”

The letter went viral after Payne reached out for help on social media this past Thursday.

LeSieur said the second employee’s letter was similar to Payne’s.

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