Good Y2K Problem : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Pinellas scrambles to retrieve Y2K pay

Some county workers are paid twice after a mix-up in the county's year 2000 preparations. By ALICIA CALDWELL

) St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2000


CLEARWATER -- Sometimes you can be too prepared.

That's the lesson Pinellas County officials learned when they set up a disaster payroll to make sure county employees would get paid even if year 2000 computer problems cropped up.

They got paid all right -- about 1,950 of them were paid twice.

"Don't spend it," cautioned Karleen DeBlaker, Pinellas circuit court clerk, whose office does payroll for 3,500 county employees. "All we can do is apologize to the employees who thought they got a bonus or something."

The county, DeBlaker said, tried to call back the so-called disaster payroll when it was apparent that the new year passed without any computer problems.

However, a mix-up in communication with the county's bank, First Union, resulted in double payments for those employees who have their salaries deposited directly into their bank accounts, DeBlaker said.

The extra paychecks, which were for a two-week pay period, totaled $2.3-million.

Those county employees who receive traditional paper paychecks were not paid twice.

County finance officials were scrambling late this week to try to get the money back before it was scheduled to appear in accounts Friday morning.

Failing that, they tried to let employees know that the extra money was going to be quickly retrieved -- either Friday or Monday. And if county employees decide to withdraw the money, they will not get their next paycheck, said payroll supervisor Carol Taylor.

"The message is simple," Taylor said. "Don't spend the money."

-- New Guy (, January 08, 2000

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