A banking error led to a catastrophic payment failure over the festive period, when the employees of Plymouth Public Schools found that their pay had been accidentally withdrawn from their accounts rather than deposited.
A school official has now confirmed to the Boston Globe that teachers and other employees in this area who are regularly paid courtesy of direct deposits woke up on Friday morning to find that the exact amount they were supposed to have been paid had actually been taken.
Gary E. Maestas, a superintendent for Plymouth Public Schools, began contacting the individuals affected at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning. Mr Maestas explained that it had been caused by a user error.
WCBV have estimated that around 1,300 workers were actually affected.
It has since been announced that some employees’ banks had already reversed the error by Friday evening, while it’s believed that everyone who has been affected by this incident should have their funds back in their accounts by Monday evening.
However, for some people, that isn’t good enough. The error has left some Plymouth Public School employees deep in debt as not only were they waiting to pay their bills, feed their families, and celebrate the holiday season with this payment, but the fact that they have actually been charged the amount they were supposed be paid has resulted in them being on the brink of financial ruin.
A veteran teacher, who remained anonymous, spoke to the Patriot Ledger about the calamitous mistake, and he was understandably mortified and apoplectic.
“I can’t believe this was even possible. How can they take money out of your account without your permission?”
Melissa Arrighi, the town manager, has revealed that those involved in the investigation to the mistake have already determined that it was caused by a human error. She also released a statement that insisted they will pay for any bank charges that emerge as a result of this error.
“We intend to work with school employees on any fees they are charged because of this mistake and have commitments from most of the banks to do that as well. We are also correcting the internal error so that this cannot happen again.”
She also revealed that 704 people involved in the incident had received a full reimbursement by Saturday, while 591 deductions will be concluded on Monday. Bank of America, Citizens Bank, and Santander users will have to wait until Monday, the next business day, to get their money returned.
Mr. Maestas himself was actually affected by this error, and he explained that even though this avoidable incident was still a travesty, “The silver lining to all of this is that a lot of our employees’ banks have been very responsive.”
[Image via Mommylovestech]