By Angelique D’Alessandro
A new online timesheet system for on campus jobs created at the start of the fall 2018 semester left student workers weeks without compensation for their work.
Kaiyi Lei, a junior broadcasting major, said he was not paid from his on-campus summer job until three months after he stopped working.
“I started working for the College of Management from the beginning of August to the end of August,” Lei said. “[In] total, I should have received like $2,000.” Lei was paid for his work on Nov. 15., three months after he finished his job in August.
Lei reached out to the College of Management to see why he hasn’t been paid, even calling multiple times and visiting the office to ask about the processing of his payment. “They told me the school personnel was doing the paperwork very slow,” he said. “I know [payment] is not right away, but I didn’t think it was going to be spending two months [waiting].”
Lei said four of his coworkers from the job have also not been paid.“The reason why it is so late is because the school changed the system,” he said. “We usually do a paper [timesheet] but the school changed it to the online one.”
On Oct. 18, a campus-wide email from Lisa S. Araujo, resources officer for Post’s office of Human Resources, was sent to students regarding “the process and procedures of student employment.”
“We acknowledge that this [new system] caused some challenges, and the intent to enhance the student employment experience created unanticipated delays,” the email reads. The email continues on to say that all students had been compensated at that point.
“We have evaluated the process and streamlined it further so that the job application, to hire, to timesheet access will be more timely,” it reads. “We have also reconciled records and issued checks (including manual checks for the off-cycle payroll) to all students who were approved for hire and who have completed their new hire paperwork, if applicable.”
But the new system of uploading time sheets wasn’t easy for some students to adapt to. Another student, who is a senior and wished to stay anonymous for fear of losing her job, said that she had issues accessing the online system.
“I was working for three and a half weeks before I got paid,” she said. “They told me that they don’t accept paper time sheets, and I told them my online timesheet wasn’t showing up on MyLIU.”
The student was told that the timesheet would not work on a Mac computer, and to try on a PC and then wait for the next pay cycle. She was paid after finding a computer on which the online time sheet system worked.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, any worker in New York can claim their unpaid wages if not paid for all hours worked. Alyson Mathews, an attorney at Lamb and Barnoksy, said that student workers are protected under Department of Labor laws.
“For private sector employees, NY Labor Law Section 191 governs the frequency of wage payments. The rules depend on the category of employment,” Matthews said. “The biggest category is “clerical or other workers,” [who] must be paid semi-monthly on regular pay days designated in advance by the employer.”
According to Mathews, speaking up is the best way to resolve a late pay issue.
“Someone who has not been correctly paid should follow-up with their employer. They may also seek assistance from the Department of Labor,” she said.