Reuters payroll rife with errors
138 Guild members were ‘overpaid’; What to do if you’re one of them
Guild Colleagues at Thomson Reuters,
Over the last two days, the Guild has learned of widespread errors in Thomson Reuters payroll. The company says 138 Guild members were “overpaid” and approximately 30 were “underpaid” in the last month or so. In 43 cases, the alleged “overpayment” was one cent; 95 members were said to have been “overpaid” more substantial amounts.
There are plenty of serious problems with management’s handling of this mess, and we’ll get to those in a minute. But right now, you need to know what to do if you get an email or phone call from people purporting to be from TR Human Resources saying you’ve been “overpaid.” (So far, we know of no Guild members who have been notified that they have been “underpaid.”)
The email will probably look something like this:
FROM: HR Services Center – or –THCOMPENSATION
To: Joe/Jane Guildmember
Subject: 1-1234567890 Overpayment–or –GUILD OVERPAYMENT NOTIFICATION
Attachments: WAGE RECOUPMENT AUTHORIZATION.doc
This is to inform you that you were overpaid for your Guild overtime payment on your paychecks received in July. We show you should have received $xx and instead we processed a payment in error for you for $xx.
We have determined that you have been overpaid a total gross amount of $xxx. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
We wanted to inform you that we would like to deduct this overpayment from your next paycheck.
In order to do this, we would need an authorization form completed and sent back to the Services Center email address or faxed by the end of this week.
Please complete the authorization form and email it to email@example.com or you may fax it to 1-847-554-1277.
The Thomson Reuters HR Services Center
Toll-free at 1-866-443-MyHR (866-443-6947)
If you have received such an email or heard from Thomson Reuters HR by phone, here’s what to do:
- DO NOT AGREE TO ANY PAYMENT. DO NOT FILL OUT OR SIGN ANY FORM.
- Tell the caller or emailer (there won’t be a name on the email) that you have been advised by the Guild to do nothing until this matter is sorted out.
- Tell them explicitly that you do not give permission for any deductions from your bank account or paycheck.
- Ask them to provide, in writing, documentation for when the error was made, how it was calculated and who is at fault.
- Closely monitor your bank account for any deductions by Thomson Reuters.
- Carefully review your paychecks for the last two months at reachingourpeople.com, click on “My Paycheck”.
Now some background:
On Thursday, July 26, we started hearing from members who had been contacted by Thomson Reuters HR. Most likely, these contacts were made by employees of Hewitt, where TR has outsourced payroll and some other functions. Be aware that TR has gone the cheapo route with Hewitt, paying for what is described as a “low level of service.”
Guild Rep Susan DeCarava spoke with a company rep about these errors. As of this writing, we still don’t know how it happened or whether these “overpayments” are genuine.
Over the next 24 hours, the Guild heard some alarming tales of the company pulling money out of our members’ bank accounts. In these cases, the company withdrew the entire amount of the paychecks, not just the amounts of the alleged overpayments. For at least two employees, this amounted to thousands of dollars.
We’re checking with the Guild’s lawyers on our options. For now, please proceed with extreme caution, and watch for updates from the Guild.
Thomson Reuters Unit Chair
Newspaper Guild of New York