JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UF Health employees are continuing to deal with the fallout of a cyberattack on the hospital’s payroll vendor, which happened back in December.
Whereas some employees were underpaid after the attack, some were overpaid, and now UF Health is looking to get that money back.
The December cyberattack took down major hospital systems’ human resource functions — not just UF Health but also Baptist Health and Ascension St. Vincent’s. An employee that spoke with the I-TEAM on Tuesday said his paychecks already feel small due to inflation — and having them shrink further is leaving him on edge.
The employee, who works as a nurse’s aid and spoke to the I-TEAM anonymously due to fear of retaliation, said he just learned in recent weeks that he’d been overpaid by more than $1,000.
“That is a lot of money. It’s even more money when you factor in the upcharge of rent and gas and child care,” he said.
He says he received an email from human resources, saying deductions from his paycheck will begin on Aug. 11. And he’s had to cut back spending, putting off back-to-school shopping for his child.
“I haven’t done any because of this right here, because I don’t know what my next pay period is going to look like,” he said.
For someone overpaid by the amount he says he was — the email says the money will be garnished from his paychecks from Aug. 11 through Dec. 29.
A spokesperson from UF Health says they’re offering several ways to pay the wages back, including paying in increments over the next five months or paying with their paid time off.
In a statement to the I-TEAM, a spokesperson for UF Health says: “The cyberattack was an unforeseen event that UF Health Jacksonville has diligently worked through, and the organization is now working closely with employees to make the remaining reconciliation process as efficient as possible.”
The I-TEAM reported reported in January that Ascension St. Vincent’s was offering repayment options for employees who had been accidentally overpaid because of the cyberattack.
On Tuesday, Baptist Health told the I-TEAM that it’s forgiving overpayments made to employees last year and working toward a solution for some employees who were accidentally overpaid this year to pay those wages back.
A statement from Baptist Health reads:
“During the global Kronos outage, Baptist Health paid team members an estimated amount using a combination of scheduled work hours and average pay based on prior pay cycles. Our priority was to avoid any payroll disruptions resulting from this outage. Once actual hours were reconciled against the estimated hours, we determined that some of our team members were overpaid. We provided team members with an opportunity to review and verify our reconciliation calculations. We are now carefully reviewing our repayment plan. We intend to implement a fair process where team members have multiple ways to make repayments, including using their available paid time off (PTO) funds and payroll deductions over multiple pay periods. The final amounts owed will be only for the overpayments in 2022; we made the decision to forgive the 2021 overpayments made to team members.”
The UF Health employee told the I-TEAM he feels like he’s being punished for someone else’s mistake.
“We focus on patient care and doing the best job for the patients as possible,” he said. “And I think that the payroll should be doing, whatever the payroll or Kronos, should be doing the same for the UF Health employees.”
As for employees who were underpaid because of this cyberattack, UF Health says it’s completed that reconciliation process.