Unions win order against MultiCare payroll deductions

November 1, 2022

Montana Mortgages

Comments Off on Unions win order against MultiCare payroll deductions


Seattle—On October 14, a King County Superior Court judge issued an order that MultiCare cannot deduct money from workers who have been temporarily overpaid without the express consent of the individual employee. The alleged overpayments were related to a prolonged outage of the employer’s timekeeping system.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 3000 and the Washington State Nurses Association filed suit against MultiCare after the healthcare system announced it had overpaid workers and would recover the overpayments by deducting amounts from their choice of subsequent paychecks without the worker’s authorization. The unions argued that the law did not allow MultiCare to do this. The court agreed with the unions and MultiCare was ordered to stop deductions unless it had an agreement with the individual member.

The Washington State Nurses Association, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, and UFCW 3000 filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) in March to stop the MultiCare Health System from garnishing wages without employee consent to recover alleged overpayments during as the case progressed through the court system. .

This legal victory will make all the difference for dozens of workers who were facing drastic holds on their checks. It would have meant not being able to pay rent or mortgage or keep food on the table if MultiCare had been allowed to make the deductions.

These legal actions aim to ensure that employees have a fair, transparent and collaborative process for establishing reimbursement plans, including the ability to challenge MultiCare’s accounting and have a say in their reimbursement plans. individual. Under federal labor law, MultiCare must negotiate with unions to ensure a fair process for any reimbursement.

CONTEXT

In December 2021, timing software provider Kronos was hit by a ransomware attack, shutting down the system for many employers who use it. While Kronos was offline, MultiCare chose to duplicate the employees’ last accurate timesheet for payroll purposes.

Employees continued to track hours separately outside of Kronos, but paychecks for four pay periods were based on the first pay period in December.

MultiCare knew from the start that this would lead to inaccurate paychecks during the outage, as the hours of healthcare workers vary, sometimes significantly, from week to week. Notably, the shutdown period covered the worst months of the Omicron surge, during which employees saw their schedules significantly disrupted.

After Kronos reinstated, MultiCare announced it would begin deducting up to $500 per paycheck without employee consent starting March 18. MultiCare gave workers a March 9 deadline to apply for other payment plans, but did not offer an option for reimbursement by any means other than paycheck. deductions, and the lowest amount offered was 10% of the amount allegedly owed per pay period. At the same time, MultiCare did not provide transparent accounting for its claimed overpayments (or underpayments), and many workers reported inaccuracies in the accounting provided to them.


About the WSNA

WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington State, providing representation, education, and resources that enable nurses to reach their full professional potential and focus on patient care. The WSNA represents more than 18,000 registered nurses for collective bargaining who provide care in hospitals, clinics, schools, and community and public health facilities across the state.

About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and health care workers with more than 30,000 caregivers in hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home care, and hospice programs in Washington State and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.

About UFCW 3000

UFCW 3000 is the largest union in Washington State with more than 50,000 members in Washington, northeast Oregon and northern Idaho, including 22,000 health care workers in alongside other essential workers in grocery, retail, pharmacy, cannabis, food processing and other industries. Our mission is to build a strong union that fights for economic, political and social justice in our workplaces and communities. Learn more at UFCW3000.org