INVESTIGATES: Payroll system hack continues, UF Health employee urges hospital to step up

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An ongoing payroll ransomware attack is costing local medical workers.

Action News Jax first told you a couple of weeks ago when the payroll platform Kronos was hacked. Baptist Health, UF Health and Ascension St. Vincent’s were among the companies impacted.

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This week, UF Health employees have now received their second paycheck amid the hack, which for some is a lot less than normal.

“This paycheck I worked over 100 hours. They only paid me for 54. That was it,” one UF Health employee said.

The employee said the system still hasn’t been fixed. She asked us to hide her face and change her voice and not even identify her position out of fear of retaliation from the hospital.

“We all need that money to pay our bills,” the UF Health employee said.

She said employees are only being paid for the hours they’re obligated to work. This means any extra hours are being left off the paycheck for now, which she was understanding of at first, but now not so much.

“It’s a worry for a lot of people. It really is. And we don’t know how long it’s going to go on, they’re telling us they’re just waiting for a response,” the UF Health employee said.

UF Health officials told us employees will be paid eventually for their extra hours.

In a statement, officials said there may be delays because timesheets are being done manually, “but every employee will be paid for all hours worked.”

The employee we spoke with said that’s not good enough as some workers live paycheck to paycheck. She said others are starting to look elsewhere.

“I believe with the second paycheck I think people are already starting to make other plans to work someplace else to leave,” the UF Health employee said.

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UF Health officials also said they cannot determine when the system will be back up and running.

They said “Kronos is still trying to figure out the cloud issue.”

According to the Kronos Private Cloud update, substantial progress has been made in its recovery.

The site also says it has developed a more detailed customer restoration process.

But will it be back up in time? This employee doesn’t think so.

“People are fed up. They’re gonna go. They’re not going to stay. No one wants to work for free,” the UF Health employee said.

The employee said she thinks the hospital should start cutting checks.

“If we are recording our hours on timesheets and you know already how much we’re making and you can calculate that with a calculator, then we should do that,” the UF Health employee said.

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The UF Health statement reads in full:

“One note — we don’t control Kronos — it’s an outside company so we can’t determine when it will be up again.

Kronos (not clients like us) is still trying to figure out the cloud issue but in the meantime the hospital is keeping track of all hours worked and is paying employees for all overtime, shift differential, etc., as soon as possible. There might be delays in some of it (other than base pay, which the organization made sure to take care of immediately after the hack) because timesheets are being done manually right now. But every employee will be paid for all hours worked. We’ve communicated that to staff throughout the Kronos outage so they should be aware but we also may start holding town hall type meetings next week.”

We also reached out to Baptist Health and Ascension St. Vincent for updates on their experiences with the Kronos hack.

Ascension officials gave Action News Jax this statement:

“Associates continue to be paid and we have no new updates beyond our original statement:

‘Like many companies, we have been impacted by the ransomware attack on Kronos. While Kronos is working to address system issues, we have put in place alternate systems to track time and process payroll as scheduled.’”

Baptist Health officials provided this statement:

“As Kronos continues to work toward system restoration, Baptist Health payroll and IT teams have worked together to enable alternate systems for tracking time and processing payroll as scheduled. Our team members continue to be paid on time, using a combination of scheduled work hours and average pay based on prior pay cycles. A manual check for additional hours worked can be cut upon team member and manager request. All pay will be fully “trued-up” once the Kronos system is restored.

We have thanked our team members for their patience and understanding, and we continue to diligently answer all team member questions and address any concerns as we navigate this outage together.”