Posted by: Todd Morrison
Hurricane Sandy continues to wreak havoc, even long after electrical power has been restored across the region.
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, the payroll component of utility company National Grid‘s newly-installed SAP ERP system failed in a big way after the fall storm, in part due to the overtime incurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Reporter Tim Knauss has the details in a recent article:
National Grid rolled out its new system Nov. 1 — in the hectic aftermath of Hurricane Sandy — and the system proved incapable of accounting for overtime pay and expenses for many of the workers who spent 16-hour days on the restoration, said Ted Skerpon, president of a union representing 3,100 Upstate National Grid workers. Some employees didn’t get paid at all. Others got regular pay, but not overtime, Skerpon said.
… Two unions have filed lawsuits on behalf of unpaid workers, and on Monday the Massachusetts attorney general fined the company $270,000 for failing to comply with wage laws. New York’s attorney general has subpoenaed company records to investigate.
Knauss wrote that National Grid had to initially issue emergency checks to workers to make sure they were paid.
National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella said over one thousand employees are still affected, either getting paid too much or too little, or experiencing issues like child support payments not being subtracted and processed correctly. That number is down from around a peak of a few thousand employees that were affected in the beginning. But while progress is being made, National Grid isn’t sure when the issues will be resolved.
Stella said they don’t know yet what caused the system to go haywire. “I think that’s something we’re probably going to be looking at in detail later,” he said. “Our first priority right now is to get the payroll straightened out and our employees are being compensated correctly.”
SAP spokesperson Andy Kendzie provided no additional details other than to say SAP is working with National Grid to resolve the problems.
“All those involved have committed leadership and resources toward resolving any issues as quickly as possible,” Kendzie said. “Together, we believe we are making solid progress.”