UDS dishes out late paychecks

The problem might be that the data for any University employee is deleted after three years.

Sam Darcy

For the first seven weeks of the semester, University Dining Services starved some of its student employees of a paycheck.

Joe Reeves, a political science and urban studies senior, said he did not receive a paycheck from UDS until Oct. 20, though he started work for the year in late August.

“I was getting really frustrated,” he said. “I was getting to the point of telling them I wasn’t interested in working if I wasn’t getting paid.”

Reeves, a student manager for UDS at Middlebrook Hall who’s been a University employee since his first year of college, said when he was finally paid, the check was missing 30 percent of his hours and the raise he was promised. He said he finally received all of his due wages last Friday.

“No one really told me why I wasn’t getting paid,” he said. “There was really a huge gap in communication.”

Reeves said after weeks of complaints and filling out paperwork, he decided to contact University Student Legal Services.

Barb Boysen, a legal services assistant, said about 10 students contacted the office in one week concerning pay issues with UDS. The other students were unavailable for comment.

She said it is a conflict of interest for the legal services office to enter into a dispute with the University, so she referred the students to the Office for Conflict Resolution.

Reeves said the Office for Conflict Resolution told him the problem was that his data had been wiped out of the UDS system because University employees’ data is automatically erased after three years.

The Office of Conflict Resolution declined to comment on Reeves’ situation.

“Maybe they have such a high turnover rate that they assume no one will stay there for three years, ” Reeves said.

Gary Beams, food service director at Middlebrook Hall, said the problem stemmed from the expiration of a single piece of paper.

“His W-9 financial form only lasted for three years, which is news to us as of this incident,” he said. “Apparently it had expired and we had not gotten word.”

He said the payroll department is not to blame, but it was a communication problem on both ends that could have been easily solved.

UDS Director Larry Weger said it is University policy to require updated information after three years. A UDS manager would not know of a necessary update unless notified by the payroll department, he said.

Weger also said he had never experienced a problem with the three-year expiration before.

Steve Neumann, a chemistry senior and UDS student manager, said he saw the pay dispute as an isolated incident.

But some students said they have had problems receiving paychecks from UDS in the past. Mikey Maritato, a global studies and German junior, said he never received a paycheck from UDS after working about a month at Centennial Hall two years ago.

He said he filled out all of the paperwork, but UDS lost his timecard.

“After winter break I went in to get paid and they said they had no record of me working there,” he said.

Maritato said he repeatedly returned to the office to get his paycheck but it never came.

“They were very unorganized and they were not helpful at all,” he said.

Reeves said despite the frustrations, he still likes his job and the people he works with. He said quitting would only make it harder on his co-workers.

“I enjoy being there and I know how hard it is when someone doesn’t show up,” Reeves said. “I knew I was going to get paid eventually and I had no reason to take that out on the students.”