National Grid agrees to pay $2m to settle claims of delayed wages for Sandy work

SCITUATE, , MA.10/ /25/ 2012:National Grid empoyees and a tree service company stand ready for deployment at Scituate High School. Hurricane Sandy prep or waiting for the storm. ( David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC: 26weather
National Grid employees and a tree service company readied for Superstorm Sandy in Scituate.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File

National Grid has agreed to pay nearly $2 million in damages to hourly employees who were left unpaid for work during Hurricane Sandy last year due to problems with the utility’s payroll system, under a settlement with Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Thursday.

National Grid will pay more than 2,000 of its employees in Massachusetts a lump sum of $750 each to compensate them for financial hardships they may have suffered because of delays in getting storm pay. Additionally, the utility will pay the state $270,000 in penalties for failing to pay employees for Sandy-related work by the December 2012 deadline set by Coakley.

The powerful storm hit in October, but National Grid did not pay all employees for all their work until early this year.

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“Many workers went unpaid or underpaid for weeks and suffered financial hardship for months as these payroll issues were being rectified,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a statement.

In addition to hourly workers, National Grid they will pay the $750 lump sum to “a number of management employees” who were also affected by the payroll glitch but not included in the agreement with Coakley, said Jackie Barry, a National Grid spokeswoman.

Barry noted that the cost of the payouts will be absorbed by the company, and not passed on to customers.

“We’re pleased that we’ve reached this agreement and we regret the inconvenience and frustration that these issues caused our employees,” Barry said.