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Grady Hospital payroll affected by ransomware hack, paychecks delayed

Crime and public safety Metro ATL

Grady Hospital payroll affected by ransomware hack, paychecks delayed

Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. CREDIT LISA HAGEN / WABE

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Atlanta, GA — The ransomware attack on HR services firm Kronos couldn’t have been better timed for maximum misery. Hackers locked up the company’s online payroll suite last week, and Kronos’ customers have been scrambling days ahead of Christmas to get people paid.

Grady Memorial Hospital is one of several Atlanta hospitals among the afflicted. Thursday was payday. Despite the hospital’s best efforts, some people ended up with an empty paycheck.

Two certified nursing assistants talked about it on the street outside of the emergency room this afternoon.

“I got 75 cents,” said one. “Some people got something.” Her friend got 86 cents. The two were commiserating.

“Right at Christmas,” the other said. “I got two kids at home. I worked seven days last week. I only picked that up because it was a check before Christmas.”

Both have full-time jobs at other hospitals. They work part-time at Grady, earning $15 or $16 an hour, out of personal loyalty to hospital managers and a deep personal interest in keeping Grady Hospital functional, they said.

The ransomware attack did not impact any of Grady’s internal systems; there is no threat of machines going silent or power being cut.

The pay problem has been hit or miss. Salaried employees largely received full or near-full paychecks, as did travel nurses and doctors who are on Emory University’s payroll system while working at Grady. But for others, the pay problem is testing that loyalty. Some talk emerged in social media about staying home without pay and ignoring the consequences of an “occurrence,” or a negative mark on their record.

Grady has been fighting a staffing problem throughout the pandemic, like other hospitals, but no one has called out due to the pay issue yet, said Lindsay Caulfield, a Grady spokesperson.

“The ransomware attack impacted all of their customers,” she said. “We were able to redirect and ensure that payroll was met this week.”

Caulfield expects any lingering pay problems to be resolved by midday Friday at the latest. “We understand the frustration and the angst that this has caused, but I’m supremely confident we can get it fixed.”

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