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Employee sues Cargill for misplaced pay as a result 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 didn’t pay him and different non-exempt staff for all hours labored, together with extra time, because of a December 2021 ransomware assault in opposition to UKG (Ellis v. Cargill Meat Options, No. 4:22-cv-00864 (N.D. Texas Sept. 26, 2022)).

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

In consequence, 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 fee can be lower than the complete extra time premium,” in line with the swimsuit. “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 will’t share particular particulars relating to the litigation, we will share that Cargill put various techniques in place through the Kronos outage to pay our staff on time and performed a full pay reconciliation course of when the system was restored,” the spokesperson mentioned.

The swimsuit is the most recent in a sequence of authorized actions filed in response to final yr’s Kronos outage. July noticed two main fits in opposition to 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 often called Kronos Non-public 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 Non-public Cloud, employers who spoke to HR Dive beforehand mentioned 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 brought about some observers to query whether or not employers have been ready for cybersecurity incidents involving their distributors and the legal responsibility points that might comply with.

In Cargill, the plaintiff alleged his employer paid based mostly on estimates of time or pay, or “based mostly upon arbitrary issues,” fairly 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 data, arguing that UKG “had an obligation of care to Plaintiff to train cheap care” in dealing with his data 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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