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W.Va. to meet payroll Friday, despite ransomware attack to contractor

W.Va. to meet payroll, despite ransomware attack
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 12:42 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia state workers will be paid on schedule this week, despite a ransomware attack that recently crippled a software provider that helps manage time and leave for more than 35,000 state employees.

The State Auditor’s Office reassured employees Monday that checks will be deposited on schedule Friday.

For additional assurance, officials urged state workers to check their pay stub now. Those have been uploaded to the state’s system. It now provides the Auditor’s Office an extra set of eyes to make sure no mistakes have occurred.

State Auditor J.B. McCuskey said anyone who finds a mistake should call his or her office’s payroll administrator.

The ransomware attack involves software provider UKG Inc., a company known to many state employees by its former name, Kronos.

State officials first learned of the attack two weeks ago. Friday’s upcoming paychecks are the first to be impacted.

The attack, which affects many entities across the nation, took West Virginia’s payroll time and leave accounting system offline.

McCuskey said that forced his staff to work with payroll administrators for each state agency to manually record the necessary information. Their work, amid the holiday vacation season, is credited with making sure the state meets payroll.

“We had thousands of hours of overtime worked last week,” McCuskey said. “We had people working on Christmas, Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, and the folks whose job it is to make sure everyone gets paid understood that their service was needed, and they stepped up to the plate and made sure that everyone was taken care of on their last payroll of the year.”

State officials note that UKG/Kronos has no personal information for any state employee. The company is limited to having an employee number and the hours each employee worked.

The situation does not affect employees of the state Supreme Court of Appeals, the Division of Highways and the State Police. Each of those agencies use a different time-entry system.

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