LAUSD Shaking Teacher Down For $500

Teacher Nathan MacAinsh didn't notice anything different about his paycheck back in December, but according to a letter he recently received from LAUSD, a sick time error means he owes the district $521. He's now been given ten days to respond or they'll deduct the entire amount from his next paycheck -- adding further insult -- if he chooses to dispute the error it could will take months to resolve, and he'd still have to cough up the money in the meantime. So... LAUSD makes payroll mistake... LAUSD waits two months to admit payroll mistake... LAUSD blames you for their payroll mistake.

Nathan Writes:

"Yet again, LAUSD is messing with payroll. You can post my name and my school for this one. I received a letter from the district demanding payment of 521 dollars for an overpayment in December. I was told I had ten days to respond or they were going to deduct the entire amount from my March check. They waited two months to inform me of this overpayment. I was told in the letter that the error should have been obvious. My checks minus extra work for mentoring were the same monthly amount. It ended up that they didn't deduct 12 hours of sick time pay from my sick time bank even though it was reflected on my check. For this error they want me to pay them in cash for sick time that I earned for working for the district. They told me that it was probably because I didn't have any sick time left which is incorrect because I have 68 hours of sick time in my bank.

I heard from my time reporter that at least 4 other people at my school received a similar letter. The district wants us to sign up for an appointment to discuss overpayments but we were told it would probably take 3 or 4 months during which timely payment on the balance is expected. The payroll department told me that most times it takes a "trained" eye to see the error. If these errors weren't still occurring years after the new payroll system they could focus on their real jobs.

Thank you for this forum,

Nathan MacAinsh
White Middle School

Wait... 3 or 4 months for an appointment to discuss overpayment? Sounds like the district's "drag-a-problem-out-for-so-long-you'll-forget-or-just-go-away" trick. I suggest you settle and agree to pay $1 a month for 521 months, just to teach them a lesson. Let us know where this thing goes.

Flickr: rbbaird


02 2010


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UTLA just told me to pay. No way! If I don't have any proof, I will not pay. I have not worked for LAUSD in three years and now they want me to pay! Are you kidding? I don't recall ever being over payed. Give me a break. UTLA's advise to was just to pay the amount without any proof. Judith Brunner's people were the ones who told me this. Forget it.

I am sorry to hear that Judith Brunner of UTLA did not stand up for you. I would not pay either without LAUSD giving you proof that you in fact were overpaid. I have heard from many people that they don't think that they were overpaid, but find themselves in the same boat as you. There is always small claims court.

While most of what UTLA does is in collusion with LAUSD in ultimate derogation of your rights, Judith Brunner in the UTLA office is an excellent and knowledgeable source for matters dealing with LAUSD's creative payroll practices. Get your payroll paperwork together and give her a call at: 213.487.5560 ext. 280. You will find her very professional, which is probably attributable to the fact that she comes from the real world and not any public education bureaucracy.

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