Some UF Health workers still waiting for pay following delays due to ransomware attack

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4JAX I-TEAM is hearing from more UF Health Jacksonville employees who are tired of waiting for IOUs after a ransomware attack.

Some said they haven’t received all of their overtime and holiday pay for nearly six weeks. UF Health said those employees will receive the money they’ve earned, but not until their payroll contractor, Kronos, has figured out the issue.

Employees at the hospital said it’s unacceptable, and in the midst of a labor shortage and COVID-19 surge, they’re worn out and unmotivated to put in extra time as they don’t know when they’ll get paid for it.

Edward King, a security officer, said he has worked at UF Health’s Jacksonville campus for 20 years. But he couldn’t have foreseen the attack on the payroll software that would cost him and his coworkers.

“For me, that resulted in roughly 40 hours of, you know, unpaid work from Nov. 28 to Dec. 11,” he said.

He said his employer still owes him about $1,000 after the cyberattack, which is still in the process of being resolved.

“And all we’re asking is that we get paid for the time that we worked,” King said.

Kronos Private Cloud is a human resources management company that offers payroll tools to major employers, including health care systems in Jacksonville.

On Dec. 11, Kronos was hit with a ransomware attack, leading hospitals in town to create alternative systems to track employee work hours.

UF Health says it has been paying its employees the same base pay they received in the last pay period before the cyberattack.

But employees working overtime, holidays and odd hours after that as COVID has surged won’t get the extra money they’ve earned until Kronos is up and running again. It’s unclear when that will happen.

“We’ve given this hospital Christmas, we dedicated to this hospital. New Years we dedicated our time to this hospital,” King said.

A UF Health spokesperson said the hospital is keeping track of employees’ hours and will pay them any additional money they’re owed as soon as possible.

A spokesperson with UF Health says the hospital is keeping track of employees’ hours and will pay them any additional money they’re owed as soon as possible.

Multiple people have reached out to the I-TEAM about this issue for weeks, but didn’t want to be identified for fear of retaliation. One nurse, who said she’s owed at least $1,200, said she’s had to dip into her savings and is no longer working overtime.

Employees are manually filling out timesheets, but a spokesperson says to actually cut checks without Kronos would be quite challenging.

Employees tell the I-TEAM that they signed up to work for UF Health, not Kronos, and that it’s the health system’s responsibility to pay them for their labor.

Following our first I-TEAM investigation, UF Health added virtual townhall meetings to discuss the issue. The first one was Monday with more planned this week.

About the Author:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter