A Pay-n In The Backside

, , , , , , , | Working | July 16, 2020

The company I work for uses an outside business to manage payroll. I have worked here for three years now, and it seems like every month there is yet another reason why I can’t believe we still use this payroll company. Here are a few:

I am supposed to get reimbursed for using the parking garage next to our office. I give my boss the receipts and she reports the amount to payroll. Apparently, though, payroll just cannot nail down the difference between a reimbursement and a deduction, because on three or four paychecks now, I have had to tell my boss that the cost of the parking garage had been subtracted from my paycheck instead of added to it so that payroll could reverse it.

I make sure to check my pay stub very carefully every time now because it seems to happen totally sporadically.

Last year, I enrolled in the company health insurance program for the first time, meaning that a certain amount of my paycheck would get automatically deducted every pay period to cover the premium. (Yay, USA!) This was supposed to start happening on April 1st. However, I noticed no difference in pay after my first April paycheck. My mistake here: instead of asking about it right away, I assumed it must be retroactive, meaning I would pay for the month of April starting May 1st.

But then, my first May paycheck came. No difference. I talked to my boss, who contacted payroll, to find out that they had just straight-up forgotten to start deducting it. Since I had still technically been enrolled in health insurance in April, though, I was still on the hook for the premium, meaning that for the rest of the year I had to pay more out of each paycheck to cover the difference.

This past March, our hours were reduced due to the health crisis, which — I believed — would translate to a $400 pay cut each pay period — a bit of a bummer but understandable, and better than being laid off. However, when I received my first paycheck, to my shock, it was over $1,000 less than usual!

Now very worried, as this was nowhere near enough money to live on, I asked my boss if this amount was correct. She seemed just as shocked as I had been and reached out to payroll right away. Lo and behold, when my boss had communicated the hours cut to them, they had totally misinterpreted the number of hours we were supposed to be getting paid for; essentially, we were working [hours] every week, but we were getting paid for working that many hours every two weeks.

A week ago, my boss informed me that I was getting a bonus in my next paycheck to make up a little bit for the hours cut since we had fared better than anticipated during the health crisis. Today — I am writing this in late May — I received my most recent pay stub, which was divided into two separate payments: my regular paycheck and the bonus. Both were paid out on the same day… and both included a deduction for my health insurance, meaning I unwillingly paid twice as much as I was supposed to for health insurance this period.

I wasn’t even upset; I just started laughing. A couple of hours later, on a video call with my boss, I casually said, “Hey, I also have a question about payroll…” and smirked as I watched an expression come over her face that clearly said, “Oh, for God’s sake, what have they done now?”

Maybe this is the final straw that will allow us to find a better company.

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