The University of California has been short-changing thousands of its employees out of small amounts of money that add up to millions of dollars.
On December 1, the UC system wrote the U.S. Department of Labor to ask for help in fixing the university’s payroll system, which has underpaid as many as 40,000 employees up to $5 per weekly paycheck. The problem was discovered when the university transferred to a new payroll system, according to the Sacramento Bee. The payroll system, called UCPath, caused problems of its own, falling two years behind schedule, with costs soaring to at least $220 million, according to the Bee’s report last March.
An attorney for the Board of Regents wrote, “The reasons for these failures are complex. We would like to reach a suitable resolution that would provide retroactive payments to affected employees.” The UC’s website stated that “less than 20% of UC’s workforce,” was affected by the snafu, amounting to nearly 40,000 people. UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said some employees found a slight increase in their paychecks.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is investigating, the Bee reports; UC asserted that up to three years of past underpayments will be examined, as the statute of limitations under federal law only covers three years. Officials say they do not know how long the problem has continued.
The total of the underpayments, amounting to as much as $3 million, prompted the university’s largest labor unions to fire off a letter on Dec. 15 asking for the three-year statute of limitations to be lifted; the letter also demanded complete reimbursement of wages owed, the interest accrued and an equal amount in damages.