Kroger’s Overpayment Shows How You Should Not Treat Employees

by Evil HR Lady on May 20, 2020

Never before has the world appreciated grocery store employees. They kept everyone fed while the world shut down and at personal risk. Grocery store giant, Kroger, offered employees emergency pay, but, unfortunately, a few employees were overpaid.

This happens. It’s not a sign of a bad payroll system–it’s just a sign that when things change rapidly, mistakes sometimes occur. In this case, the payroll department sent out an email asking the employees to repay the overpayment.

This is not a problem. Paychecks should be accurate, and a mistake on either end should be fixed. However, the problem comes from how they asked, or instead demanded, the repayment.

To keep reading, click here: Kroger’s Overpayment Shows How You Should Not Treat Employees

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Just Me May 20, 2020 at 5:39 pm

It wouldn’t be surprising if that piece was suggested by their lawyer. There may be some states where if you don’t add that right up front, you won’t have recourse if they don’t sign the agreement. Even if it had to be included, it shouldn’t have been so prominent.

Other than that, they did the “right” thing in telling them the exact amount of the over payment, giving them 3 repayment options, asking for their acknowledgement, etc.

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Millennial Perspective May 21, 2020 at 9:58 pm

Nah. Thats not true.

You are allowed to get money owed to you as long as you show reasonable and consistent communication. That doesnt mean you have to have a disclaimer on your initial notice!

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MariaRose May 20, 2020 at 7:28 pm

That action was made by the person in payroll who made that numerical error, who probably thought they could justify their mistake by going and requesting the money back in such harsh repayment options, rather than working out better options per each employee overpaid. I would have personally refused every one of those options and demanded one better suited to my budget on my regular paycheck. What is wrong here is that nothing is done to the payroll department who created this problem to avoid this happening again. I am quite sure there was no real posting of the exact amounts to be expected as bonus payments until after received by the employees when the mistake was discovered.

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Pat T May 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm

About 30 years ago, I transferred from a civilian job in the U.S. Army to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several months later, I received a payroll check from the Army. I called the payroll office at the Army base, and they told me how to return the money. Two weeks later, I got another payroll check, which I returned. After that, no more checks arrived from the Army. I can’t imagine how they initiated a payroll check to me after I had left the job several months before; perhaps a new employee had a name similar to mine?

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John May 22, 2020 at 4:19 am

Personally, I think they were straight-forward about it, and offered options. They could have just shorted the next check(s) and let the employee do the legwork and eventually get to the bottom of it (“why is my check so small?”).

I’m no fan of Kroger, and I’ve seen some real incompetence from them, as an observant customer; but take it where you can get it. They could simply short the next check and be harsh about it, like many HR/Payroll people would do, because many are insultated and buried in the bureaucracy, and simply don’t care.

A lot of people in HR are 20-somethings, and don’t have very much maturity, and tend to compensate by being rule-bound.

All things are relative. Take it as a positive thing.

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