Just as holiday shopping is about to kick in, about 7,500 Hennepin County employees found themselves juggling their bank accounts based on pay stubs that made no sense — all because of a computer banking glitch that is still being worked out between the county's payroll department and U.S. Bank.
The employees found they'd been paid more, or less, or virtually nothing as the result of a mishap that left the county's payroll administrators scrambling all weekend to make everyone's paychecks accurate.
"Nobody lost any money but they didn't get paid in a timely fashion," Dave Lawless, the county's director of finance and budget, said Saturday. "We're still running down what happened and it should all be worked out by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. It was a case of 'I got your money rather than getting mine.' "
By Friday night, about 5,000 employees had their paychecks correctly adjusted and processed, Lawless said.
Lawless said the technical mishap with U.S. Bank, the financial institution that the county uses for all initial employee payrolls, was centered on "computer errors and wire transfers."
He urged employees not to worry about having to pay any checking account overdraft fees caused by the payday mess.
"We will be talking to U.S. Bank about waiving any fees assessed to people who were affected by this error," he said. He added that the county would consider paying any overdraft fees to an employee, should the bank balk.