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NY AG ANNOUNCES NEARLY $5 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH NATIONAL GRID

     (The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)"*News from 
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman*" 
A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES NEARLY $5 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH NATIONAL GRID FOR 
FAILING TO PAY FULL WAGES TO WORKERS AFTER HURRICANE SANDY 
"The Utility Giant Will Pay Employees Damages Based On Widespread Non-Payment 
Of Wages For Months After The Storm, Due To Computer System Conversion In 
Aftermath Of Hurricane" 
"Schneiderman: Workers Must Be Paid Their Wages On Time, Even After A Natural 
Disaster When They Need Cash For Home Repairs And Other Necessities" 
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the resolution 
of an investigation into employee complaints that National Grid, the 
multi-state electric and gas utility company, failed to properly pay its New 
York workers as required under state and federal law in the months after 
Hurricane Sandy. In addition to repaying previously unpaid wages, which has 
already largely occurred, the Attorney General’s agreement requires National 
Grid to pay another $750 to every hourly employee who worked for the company 
between November 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013. The total in additional monies, 
going to 6,500 workers, is more than $4.8 million. 
“Some of the affected employees in this case reported that they were unable to 
repair their own homes after the storm because of National Grid's 
underpayments,” said *Attorney General Schneiderman.* “National Grid's workers 
will receive some compensation --- and an explanation --- for the financial 
hardship they endured in the aftermath of the storm.” 
The agreement with the Attorney General’s Labor Bureau requires National Grid 
to provide an accounting to employees summarizing unpaid and underpaid wages, 
and to explain the date and manner in which payment problems -- which the 
company attributes to computer glitches -- have been fixed. In addition, the 
agreement requires National Grid to provide the Attorney General's Office with 
a report summarizing causes of systemic payroll failures, a description of 
steps taken to remedy the problems, a summary of lessons learned and a 
description of measures National Grid will take to prevent any future 
recurrence. 
National Grid provides energy to business and residential customers in large 
parts of New York State, including Northern and Western New York and on Long 
Island. National Grid, headquartered in Massachusetts, employs more than 10,000 
people in New York State. 
More than 6,500 hourly employees who worked for National Grid in New York State 
("New York employees") did not receive their full pay on time. During a period 
of 19 weeks, there were approximately 32,000 incidents in which employees were 
underpaid and provided with inaccurate wage statements. 
National Grid's failure to properly pay employees, from Long Island to 
Syracuse, was the result of the company's conversion to a new computer system, 
which involved changes to its time-keeping and payroll systems. The new system 
was scheduled to “go live” on November 5, 2012. Despite the forecasts of a 
hurricane headed for the East Coast, National Grid failed to delay this 
company-wide computer conversion. This caused massive disruption to National 
Grid’s pay and timekeeping system, including nonpayment of wages, nonpayment of 
overtime and inaccurate wage statements to employees. In addition, the Attorney 
General’s office found that for more than a month after this disruption, the 
staffing resources devoted to fixing the system remained insufficient. 
After Sandy hit the New York area, National Grid employees worked greatly 
expanded hours. Many workers were underpaid or not paid at all. They 
experienced disruptions in direct bank deposits of their wages. Among other 
problems, certain established payroll deductions did not take place for some, 
resulting in employees defaulting on child support garnishments and other legal 
obligations. 
The non-payment and underpayment of earned wages had serious consequences for 
many National Grid employees, some of whom reported to the Attorney General 
that they were left unable to pay rent, repair their homes and pay for other 
basic necessities. This failure to pay all wages owed in a timely manner caused 
significant stress, confusion and anxiety to employees, many of whom worked 
extremely long hours in the weeks after the storm, repairing damage caused by 
Sandy, in an effort to restore service to National Grid customers. 
In addition to the OAG investigation, four private lawsuits concerning the 
underpayments were filed in New York State. Any funds paid toward settlement of 
those lawsuits will be credited toward National Grid's obligations under the 
Attorney General’s settlement. 
In the course of the investigation, the Attorney General's Office collaborated 
with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, which announced a similar 
settlement with National Grid today. 
Under New York law, employers are required to pay manual laborers at least 
weekly and to pay clerical and other covered workers in accordance with agreed 
terms of employment and at least semi-monthly. Employers must also pay 
employees at least the minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour, and must pay 
overtime at time and one half of employees' regular hourly rate for all covered 
workers. Employers must maintain payroll records, including hours and actual 
pay, and furnish to each employee a statement with every payment of wages, 
listing hours worked, rates paid, gross wages and allowances, if any, claimed 
as part of the minimum or promised wages. 
*Donald J. Daley Jr, Business Manager of IBEW Local Union 1049 on Long Island,* 
said, “Our hardworking members deserved to be paid correctly and on time. For 
National Grid to implement a new payroll system during the Hurricane Sandy 
restoration was highly irresponsible. I want to personally thank New York State 
Attorney General Eric Schniederman his close attention to this matter and 
bringing it to fair resolution.” 
*Theodore Skerpon,President and Business Manager of the Upstate IBEW Local 
97,* said, “On behalf of the 3,200 National Grid employees that are represented 
by IBEW Local 97, I would like to thank the New York State Attorney General 
Schneiderman’s office for bringing this resolution to the recent debacle 
created by National Grid regarding the implementation of a new payroll system. 
I applaud the fact that the Attorney General’s Office did not take the easy 
route by just issuing a fine and “slapping the hands” of the company. Instead, 
they held the company liable for their actions by requiring them to provide a 
root cause, create steps to remedy the problem and take measures to prevent 
further issues. It is evident that the Attorney General is truly concerned 
about the well-being of the people of New York State.” 
N*ew York City TWU Local 101 President Michael Conigliaro said*, “We at TWU 
Local 101 are satisfied with the results of the settlement on behalf my 
membership. We have waited a long time for our member to receive what they 
deserve.” 
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Kevin M. Lynch and Labor 
Bureau Special Counsel Patricia Kakalec, under the supervision of Bureau Chief 
Terri Gerstein, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin 
Bragg and First Deputy Attorney General for Affirmative Litigation Janet Sabel. 
(rml) NY
 
 
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