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Payroll hitch has state employees considering lawsuit

Posted August 4, 2008
Updated August 5, 2008

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— The Public Service Workers' Union is threatening a possible class-action lawsuit against the state. 

Many state workers claim they are not getting paid for all the hours they put in. It has been a problem for months and employees WRAL spoke with said they are fed up.

"I have no time off because I spend my time doing this,” Beverly Moriarty, a nurse who has worked at Dorthea Dix Hospital for 13 years, said of checking her paychecks.

Since April, when the state rolled out the BEACON HR/Payroll Project, employees statewide have complained about not getting overtime and shift-differential pay. Moriarty said she is out roughly $1,500.

“We're not getting paid right,” she said. “Each month has been off."

WRAL has received numerous complaints from workers at the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Correction.

“It's not just repaying dollar for dollar what we've earned, but who is going to pay us for the consequences of late fees and fines and lost credit?” Moriarty asked.

As a member of the North Carolina Public Service Workers' Union, Moriarty said they are discussing a possible class-action lawsuit.

“I'm charged with producing a payroll for the state employees and my charge is to make sure everyone is paid and paid correctly,” said Herb Henderson, with Office of the State Controller.

Henderson said the problem is not with the new system, but rather with the people who input the information.

“That responsibility is with the individual agency. I mean, they've got to make the corrections,” he said.

“Well, that's very convenient of them to say that, but I believe that the buck has to stop with the people who institute the system,” Moriarty said.

“To have anyone with a mistake in their payroll is unacceptable and that's the reason why my team is here, as well as the agency teams (that) are working 10 to 12 hours a day,” Henderson said.

“It behooves them to put people in a room, literally, with a porta potty and delivery pizza and stay there until they get it right,” Moriarty said.

The Public Service Workers' Union said it will decide in the next week or so whether to move forward with a class-action suit. The State Employees Association of North Carolina is also investigating the matter.

Employees can call hotlines to have their case reviewed, in Raleigh at 919-707-0707, and elsewhere in the state at 866-622-3784.

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  • jgcamper Aug 12, 2008

    Beacon went live so that employees of Beacon would get extra money. Training was joke, teachers were a joke, they knew it and we knew it. DOT was first to go on it and they knew there were tons of problems. It is double the work, the most user unfriendly system. Call Help Desk and they don't even know what you are talking about. The old system worked well and was a lot less work. I see where one state is suing over this system. It's not just checks and payroll but all personnel transactions that have problems.

  • Casey04 Aug 6, 2008

    I may not be a trained payroll clerk but I've been given this job without proper training. But let me tell you one thing the problems with BEACON are not due to what I enter into the system. WHAT I ENTER IS CORRECT AS TO HOURS WORKED as summitted by employees. So Mr. Henderson how dare you say that I'm at fault for this mess... I never asked to do payroll, you decided that I would be the responsible party for the two things everybody works for ... money and benefits, and all of this without proper training. As a supervisor at BEST SHARED told me "this system was designed for data to be entered daily" and until then it will never work properly, there is no way to track leave accurately they way things are done now. And this is my fault how? So please Mr. Henderson explain it to me again because I still don't understand.

  • mustangmo Aug 5, 2008

    a printed pay stub, you must go online and do it yourself, and your agency has no funds available to allow you access to the internet, and you are living within the means provided by no meaningful raises from legislature, so you can’t afford a computer or internet service, and 30 days later you receive notification that you are late on your payments. Being the lazy state employee, you take off time from work to go to these institutions, or place calls to BEACON, pay the late fees and wait another 60 days to be told “we’re sorry, the system is having problems, but we are working very hard to resolve them. By this time it has happened again. Call me whiner if you want to….. but I guarantee that if your employer paid you a third of your normal paycheck, 3+ times in a row, with promises that it would be in your next check 30 days out, you too would WHINE
    Sorry about the repeats...system did not calculate characters correctly, and kept telling me...BLAH same as BEACON

  • mustangmo Aug 5, 2008

    So why don’t you get off of your high horse and give thanks that someone is patrolling your roads and community, protecting you from menacing criminals and mental patients, and the hundreds of other services provided to you.

    Live within your means….. Most do live within their means. Yes some of us, knuckle dragging apes, with no skills are smart enough to have enough in savings to cover at least 3 months of bills, in case of emergency. We do have our bills set up to be paid immediately after our monthly pay, but when that paycheck is $900+ short it creates problems, even with over draft protection. What do you think happens when you have a mortgage pmt of $700 and a car payment of $200 on auto draft and your employer deposits $300 instead of your normal amount, then tells you to wait until next month and it will be in that check. Thanks to BEACON, you no longer get a printed p

  • mustangmo Aug 5, 2008

    ...out the 5 time convicted, murderer who just moved in next door to you. So why don’t you get off of your high horse and give thanks that someone is patrolling your roads and community, protecting you from menacing criminals and mental patients, and the hundreds of other services provided to you.

    Live within your means….. Most do live within their means. Yes some of us, knuckle dragging apes, with no skills are smart enough to have enough in savings to cover at least 3 months of bills, in case of emergency. We do have our bills set up to be paid immediately after our monthly pay, but when that paycheck is $900+ short it creates problems, even with over draft protection. What do you think happens when you have a mortgage pmt of $700 and a car payment of $200 on auto draft and your employer deposits $300 instead of your normal amount, then tells you to wait until next month and it will be in that check. Thanks to BEACON, you no longer get a printed p

  • mustangmo Aug 5, 2008

    Commonsensical continued....WHINE about the 5 time convicted, murderer who just moved in next door to you. So why don’t you get off of your high horse and give thanks that someone is patrolling your roads and community, protecting you from menacing criminals and mental patients, and the hundreds of other services provided to you.

    Live within your means….. Most do live within their means. Yes some of us, knuckle dragging apes, with no skills are smart enough to have enough in savings to cover at least 3 months of bills, in case of emergency. We do have our bills set up to be paid immediately after our monthly pay, but when that paycheck is $900+ short it creates problems, even with over draft protection. What do you think happens when you have a mortgage pmt of $700 and a car payment of $200 on auto draft and your employer deposits $300 instead of your normal amount, then tells you to wait until next month and it will be in that check. Thanks to BEACON, you no longer get a printed

  • mustangmo Aug 5, 2008

    Commonsensical, so you think all we do is whine, and that we should be glad to have a job, since we are so unskilled that the state is the only place that will employ us…….let me ask you a few questions…… who is out removing snow from your streets while you lay in the warmth of your bed waiting for a list of closings. Who puts their own lives on the line to make sure the convicted felons of the state remain behind bars. Have you ever seen “prison staff on 2 hour delay or prison closed due to inclement weather, staff should return to normal schedule tomorrow” roll across your TV screen when there is bad weather? Since you feel we are so unskilled, maybe we should have an emergency notification system in place so that we can notify all mental health patients’ families that we are going to release early due to weather, since our unskilled abilities won’t allow us to navigate unsafe roads. I am fairly certain that if we release prisons due to weather that you would WHINE ab

  • Sweetgrl3 Aug 5, 2008

    Yes BEACON was politically connected!

  • Sweetgrl3 Aug 5, 2008

    Why don't Mr. Henderson get us some decent training. The training received from BEACON was very poor. Everyone over at the OSC knew the training was poor and everything in training was "assume this and assume that". Apparently the assumptions are what we needed to know. We all complained about this. Especially the online courses.....what a joke!

    Most of the trainers were given material the day before they taught the class. We actually had to show some of them around in BEACON.

  • ecuwoman Aug 5, 2008

    I am a state employee..I am one that has been fighting for 3 months to get paid and time balances correct...I finally got 2 "agency" checks last month for the $2000 they owed me...I was assured my July check would be correct and all the backpay would be in my check, thus requiring me to pay back the "agency" check they "loaned" me...Was my july check correct? NO!!!!! Are my leave balances correct? NO!!! Am I paying back the agency checks? NO!!! However, the almighty state does have the power to "dock" my pay and take back that money, even though I have not been paid correctly yet. So, am I interested in a lawsuit? YES...will I pursue one...Yes...if I cannot get helped. And by then, I am sure to have endured much mental anguish that I surely could get compensated for :) And for the record, no one can help me b/c even the people trained dont understand the system.
    I am thoroughly convinced it is the system's problem and not the people entering the data, as was stated.

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