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Employee sues Cargill for misplaced pay because of Kronos outage, alleges ‘negligence’

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A former worker of meals producer Cargill has sued the corporate and its timekeeping software program and {hardware} vendor UKG, alleging the employer did not pay him and different non-exempt staff for all hours labored, together with extra time, on account of a December 2021 ransomware assault towards UKG (Ellis v. Cargill Meat Options, No. 4:22-cv-00864 (N.D. Texas Sept. 26, 2022)).

The go well with alleged that, amid the outage that resulted from the ransomware assault, Cargill issued paychecks both primarily based on scheduled hours or estimated hours, or that it duplicated checks from prior pay intervals.

Consequently, the worker claimed non-exempt hourly and salaried staff have been paid lower than they have been due for the hours they labored in a given workweek, together with extra time hours, in violation of the Truthful Labor Requirements Act.

“Even when sure extra time hours have been paid, the pay price can be lower than the complete extra time premium,” in response to the go well with. “Many staff weren’t even paid their non-overtime wages for hours labored earlier than 40 in a workweek.”

A spokesperson for Cargill confirmed the litigation in electronic mail to HR Dive. “Whereas we are able to’t share particular particulars concerning the litigation, we are able to share that Cargill put various techniques in place through the Kronos outage to pay our staff on time and carried out a full pay reconciliation course of when the system was restored,” the spokesperson stated.

The go well with is the newest in a collection of authorized actions filed in response to final yr’s Kronos outage. July noticed two main fits towards employers — West Virginia College Medical and automaker Honda, respectively — alleging improperly calculated hours and missed pay after UKG’s software program went darkish.

2021’s outage affected a UKG product referred to as Kronos Personal Cloud and endured for a number of weeks till the corporate accomplished the primary part of its restoration course of on Jan. 22. However some employers waited even longer earlier than producing clear payrolls freed from any discrepancies launched by contingency processes.

Following restoration of Kronos Personal Cloud, employers who spoke to HR Dive beforehand stated they deliberate to retain UKG as their payroll and timekeeping options vendor, with some noting the intensive coaching that switching distributors may require. However the aftermath nonetheless triggered some observers to query whether or not employers have been ready for cybersecurity incidents involving their distributors and the legal responsibility points that would observe.

In Cargill, the plaintiff alleged his employer paid primarily based on estimates of time or pay, or “primarily based upon arbitrary concerns,” slightly than precise hours labored and common pay charges.

Individually, the plaintiff alleged negligence on the a part of Cargill and UKG with respect to the businesses’ assortment and storage of delicate personally identifiable info, arguing that UKG “had an obligation of care to Plaintiff to train cheap care” in dealing with his info and defending it from being compromised.

The plaintiff requested compensatory, punitive, exemplary and statutory damages, amongst different reduction, and sought an order certifying a collective motion for his FLSA claims.

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