Glitch causes pay problem for hundreds of Harris County employees in thick of coronavirus crisis

HOUSTON – A new payroll system implemented at the beginning of March has caused major headaches for many Harris County employees, according to David Cuevas, president of the Harris County Deputies’ Organization.

According to Cuevas, the software called ‘PeopleSoft’ is to blame for paycheck inaccuracies for hundreds of employees within the sheriff’s office, constables’ offices and the district attorney’s office.

“Some are getting paid, some haven’t gotten paid, some have gotten overpaid,” Cuevas said. “It’s incompetence at the highest level and those that are responsible should be fired.”

Cuevas said the problem has been going on for several pay periods and he is demanding county leaders step up to fix the problem.

“Instead of the commissioners and or anybody asking for compassionate release, how about we show a little compassion to our first responders and pay them on time,” Cuevas said.

KPRC 2 reached out to Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner, Adrian Garcia, who said he raised concerns about the new system at the last commissioners’ court meeting.

“I was made to believe there was nothing to be concerned about, that there wouldn’t be any problems and if there were problems, they’d be extremely minimal,” Garcia said. “So, I’m concerned about the information I’m getting from these departments… they’re either misleading the commissioners’ court or they’re incompetent.”

Timothy Loyd recently retired from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. After 30 years of service, he said he was disappointed when he didn’t receive his final paycheck.

“It’s just been basically a big, giant dumpster fire,” Loyd said. “It’s stressing everyone out, especially with the coronavirus and all that. You want to make sure everything is going into your account, so you can pay your bills.”

Loyd said after several weeks of frustration, the county auditor got involved and he eventually received his compensation. A few days later, he said there was another system error.

“My wife went to fill up her prescription and we were told that we no longer had insurance,” Loyd said. “At that point, my heart just sank. I couldn’t believe it.”

According to Loyd, everything has since been ironed out, but he is worried about his former colleagues.

“There’s probably those employees out there that don’t realize that they’ve lost their insurance and have no idea,” Loyd said.

KPRC 2 also reached out to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to ask what is being done to rectify the system failure. According to Hidalgo, she was only made aware of employees being overpaid and was under the impression the errors had been addressed.