Friday, April 1, 2022

Ransomware of Pfizer contractor results in overpayment and disgruntled employees

Via WWMT, this unfortunate circumstance for Pfizer hourly employees: 

PORTAGE, Mich. — Pfizer employees say they're frustrated and angry over a payroll mistake that could force them to give back money some have already spent.

"I think everybody is just really disheartened with how all of this was handled. To ask for this money back, is just I think morally wrong,” said one employee who requested anonymity, over fear of retribution from Pfizer.

One employee provided News Channel 3 with a letter and documents received last week that showed Pfizer telling the employee they owed more than $800 in overpayment. Another employee said the issue is affecting hourly workers all across the company.

Pfizer said the overpayments happened following a ransomware attack on Ultimate Kronos Group in December 2021. Pfizer uses Kronos to track the hours employees work and pay them.

“We all feel that this is Pfizer’s payroll mistake. We never asked for this money, we were never consulted on whether we wanted extra money,” the anonymous Pfizer worker told News Channel 3.

Seems to me that the party at fault here is both Kronos (causing the error) and Pfizer (not catching it via their payroll). It's surprising to me that Pfizer is demanding hundred denarii from its employees, and not just stomaching this loss, although it's not clear as to how large the ultimate overpayment was. 


  1. I understand the heartburn of being asked to repay the money but I would also have reached out to HR if and extra $800 or so just showed up in my pay.

  2. CJ writes:

    "It's surprising to me that Pfizer is demanding hundred denarii from its employees, and not just stomaching this loss..."

    I think every direct deposit agreement I've ever signed has had a clause that authorizes the employer to claw back any mistakes or overpayments--Pfizer's actions certainly are precedented. (As a grad student, my university once double-paid me--and then took back both payments, leading to half a dozen bounced checks....)

  3. I agree with the other posters. A few weeks after I finished my lab technician job, before starting grad school, I saw I had a deposit from my former employer, that I didn't think I was owed. I called them and they said it was an error, and asked me to send them a check for the amount. Although it was a bummer, I was sure relieved to get that cleared up straight away before I spent money that wasn't mine.

    Seems to me that I've seen stories about banks going after people who spent money that was erroneously deposited as well.

  4. Come on. "Well, I didn't ask for them to give it to me!" is pretty disingenuous.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20