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166-2-29760 (2003 PSSRB 39)
Bolton v. Treasury Board (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)
Before: G. Gigučre
Appearances: E. Bramwell, for the Grievor; S. Gaudet, for the Employer
Decision rendered: June 3, 2003
Recovery of salary overpayments – Estoppel – the grievor, a teacher at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), grieved the employer's decision to recover overpayments on his salary which were the result of incorrect calculations by the employer of his entitled annual pay increments – the adjudicator referred to Rural Municipality of Storthoaks v. Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. in which the Supreme Court of Canada found that money paid to another under a mistake of fact is recoverable unless estoppel is established or if the party who was mistakenly paid had materially changed its circumstances as a result of the payment – the adjudicator found that the onus was on the grievor to establish that estoppel applied here and that the requirements to establish the existence of estoppel had not been made out in that he was not satisfied on the evidence that the grievor had detrimentally relied on the miscalculated salary – the adjudicator determined that there was no evidence of any special projects undertaken or special financial commitments made because of the receipt of these payments, nor had it "altered its position in any way because these moneys were received" – he found that the grievor's plan to retire at age 55 is not really put in jeopardy by the recovery of the overpayments, because he had testified that he would have taken a mortgage even at the lower salary – thus, the adjudicator concluded that there was no evidence that Mr. Bolton in any way changed his position because of the overpayment.
|Cases cited:||Rural Municipality of Shorthoaks v. Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. (1975), 55 D.L.R. (3d)1; Canada (Attorney General) v. Molback,  F.C.J. no 892 (Q.L.); Combe v. Combe,  2.K.B. 215 (C.A.).|