National Grid must compensate Sandy workers

Underpaid hourly employees to get $750 each

Thursday, September 26, 2013
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— National Grid must compensate hourly employees across New York who were underpaid in the months after Hurricane Sandy, according to the resolution of an investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman's office announced today that National Grid is required to pay another $750 to every hourly employee who worked for the company between Nov. 1, 2012 and March 31 of this year. Overall, about 6,500 workers will be reimbursed a total of more than $4.8 million.

“Some of the affected employees in this case reported that they were unable to repair their own homes after the storm because of National Grid’s underpayments,” said Schneiderman in a news release. “National Grid’s workers will receive some compensation — and an explanation — for the financial hardship they endured in the aftermath of the storm.”

The investigation began after employees complained that the utility company hadn’t properly paid its New York workers as required under state and federal law. The company’s conversion to a new computer system during the first week of November (shortly after Sandy hit) caused massive disruption to its pay and timekeeping system.

More than 6,500 hourly New York employees who worked for National Grid did not receive their full pay on time. Over a period of 19 weeks, there were about 32,000 incidents in which employees were underpaid and provided with inaccurate wage statements.

National Grid has been ordered to provide an accounting to employees summarizing unpaid and underpaid wages, and to explain the date and manner in which payment problems have been fixed.

It must also provide the Attorney General’s Office with a report summarizing causes of systemic payroll failures, a description of steps taken to remedy the problems, a summary of lessons learned and a description of measures National Grid will take to prevent any such problems in the future.

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