Employees outline pay system woes in new lawsuit against MBTA

Salem News | By Andy Metzger with the State House News Service | 8/8/18

BOSTON — Hundreds of MBTA employees have not received their proper pay, according to a major transit workers union that filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday.

The workers were allegedly underpaid during a period when the T’s leadership has tried to make the system of trains, buses and other transit options run more efficiently while keeping costs down.

“This is simply unacceptable,” said James O’Brien, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, which filed the suit. “Our members work hard, often in dangerous and hazardous conditions — the least the MBTA can do is pay them correctly for their work.”

According to the union, the T made a variety of errors since July 2017 when it switched from its own payroll system to a system operated by the state that pays workers every two weeks instead of every week.

Filed in Suffolk Superior Court, the suit claims the T has repeatedly incorrectly calculated pay rates; tabulated hours wrong, including “failure to pay the contractually guaranteed minimum of 40 hours per workweek;” erroneously computed pay for vacation, sick days and holidays; omitted paychecks; and made inaccurate statements of paid leave benefits.

The T’s payroll system offers no “reliable” means for employees to make corrections; the information about how paychecks are calculated is “insufficient;” and when workers do point out errors, “corrections take weeks or months to complete, often are never paid and, on some occasions, are paid to workers then deducted from later paychecks,” according to the suit.

The suit was filed by Douglas Taylor of the Virginia firm Gromfine, Taylor & Tyler and Paul Hynes of Angoff, Golman, Manning, Hynes & Dunlap, based in Norwood.

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Permanent link to this article: http://carmensunion589.org/2018/08/employees-outline-pay-system-woes-in-new-lawsuit-against-mbta/

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