Workers overpaid during cyberattack told they have to pay employers back

CHARLOTTE — Workers across the country are finding out they owe their employers money after hackers attacked a company that handles timesheets. The service was out for several weeks.

In December, Kronos, which handles timesheets for many major companies, experienced a ransomware attack, causing its systems to be down for about seven weeks.

According to national reports, the outage impacted about 8 million employees across the country.

Companies, including Campbell’s Soup, continued to pay its workers, with some using recent paychecks to estimate what each employee should get paid.

“Campbell has strived to minimize the impact of the Kronos cyberattack on our people and ensure they were paid each week during the Kronos system outage,” a representative with Campbell stated in an email to Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Now that Kronos is back online, companies can see how many hours employees worked during the outage and if any employees were not paid enough or overpaid.

“We have reconciled any differences between what employees were paid using estimated amounts and what they earned during that time,” Campbell explained. “All underpayments were fully repaid. For any overpayments, we are providing flexible payment options and employees can repay the amount owed over an extended timeframe to avoid any hardships.”

Campbell says it also gave employees a bonus for the inconvenience of the Kronos outage and that money does not need to be repaid.

Jarrod Williams is employed by Campbell. He showed Stoogenke a letter from the company that stated he owed more than $1,400, or if he prefers, $124 for 12 weeks.

“As most Americans living check to check as most Americans do, it makes it very difficult on the home side,” Williams said.

Williams hopes that between overtime, a pressure washing business he has on the side and his wife’s job, he can repay the money. But he thinks Kronos should be covering the tab.

“I believe there were other measures that could have been taken before coming directly back to us as the employees,” he said.

Stoogenke asked Campbell if that is an option but the company did not respond in time for this report.

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