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Coakley Threatens National Grid With Fine Over Workers’ Back Pay

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WBZ-TV's Bree Sison Bree Sison
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BOSTON (CBS) – Attorney General Martha Coakley is handing down a stern warning to National Grid after thousands of their local employees went unpaid for their work in New York following Hurricane Sandy.

The company says a new payroll software system is to blame.

The system went online just a few weeks before Hurricane Sandy hit, and was overloaded by the amount of overtime submitted.

National Grid says it is addressing the issue.

Coakley said on Friday that Grid needs to fix the payroll glitch fast or face a fine.

“We don’t really care what the reason is. This has been a long time. This is part of what as a business you are responsible to do,” she said. “They said they would have it done by next Friday. If they do not, we will start assessing fines.”

Coakley, who didn’t put a price on that fine, says the state is still assessing the utility company’s performance during Hurricane Sandy, which includes finding out why some 2,000 Massachusetts employees haven’t been paid for overtime they worked.

“This is part of what we want them to pay attention to,” Coakley said. “You can’t ignore your employees and you can’t ignore your consumers.”

One employee, Deanna D’Amato told WBZ-TV she’s owed more than $9,000 for work she did on Long Island.

A number of workers are joining together in a class action lawsuit against National Grid.

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