A potential class-action lawsuit has alleged that Honda improperly estimated employees’ hours worked while its timekeeping software, Kronos, was offline following a ransomware attack.
The UKG timekeeping and payroll product went down in December 2021 and many clients were without service for weeks. Employment law attorneys told HR Dive at the time that affected employers should shift to a backup timekeeping method. And where previous timekeeping data was lost, employers were advised to make their best efforts to pay employees properly; suggestions included asking employees to self-report those hours and paying workers based on past pay periods.
In Whatley v. Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC (No. 1:22-cv-00935 (N.D. Ala. July 25, 2022)), a Honda employee alleged that for at least a portion of the time following the outage, Honda failed to keep accurate track of his and others’ hours.
Instead, it used various methods to estimate workers’ hours, the lawsuit claimed, which resulted in the plaintiff and other workers being paid less than the Fair Labor Standards Act requires, especially with respect to overtime hours.
“Honda could have instituted any number of methods to accurately track and timely pay its employees for all hours worked. Instead of accurately tracking hours and paying employees their overtime, Honda decided to arbitrarily pay these employees, without regard to the overtime hours they worked or the regular rates at which they were supposed to be paid,” the suit alleged.
“It was feasible for Honda to have its employees and managers report accurate hours so they could be paid the full and correct amounts of money they were owed for the work they did for the company. But Honda chose not to do that,” the complaint said.
A Honda spokesperson told HR Dive via email that the company is still working to address outstanding issues stemming from the ransomware attack: “While we have worked to compensate associates for amounts owed as a result of the Kronos outage, due to the complexity of the timekeeping measures that were required to be used during the outage, we continue to work to reconcile and resolve outstanding concerns.”
Honda is just one of several employers facing an FLSA lawsuit as a result of the Kronos outage. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority was hit with a similar suit, as was West Virginia University Medical Corp. and UMass Memorial Health.