The Case of the Missing Check
Written by Bwog Staff
Haven’t gotten paid? Bwog delves into the world of lost work-study checks patiently awaiting their owners.
The University is (hopefully) the only employer you’ll have which will tell you to wait four to six weeks before they issue your first paycheck. And, as work-studiers can attest, this is hardly a given. You might get paid only after you call and draw their attention to the clerical error that has caused payroll to have all your paperwork listed as missing (as I well know). Misdirected paychecks, an administrator in SIPA recalls, “happen often,” particularly at Butler, though the stories of abandoned paperwork, missing administrators and the like seem to cover most University departments.
If you change your campus job, the central payroll office (for reasons that remain unfathomable) does not automatically send your paychecks to the University department to which you’ve switched. Human Resources in Butler will tell you your department needs to fill out a “change of address” form, but most departments will tell you to complete it yourself. This form must be submitted or your checks will continue going to whatever office you were last working at in the University system. Of course, this form cannot be processed at all, we were told, until your employment has been terminated at your old department, which the HR representative apparently does not know how to do… even when you’re sitting in front of them. Instead, this requires yet another form that must be submitted by your old department.
In the meantime, during the weeks while you are finding all of this out and navigating this maze of offices, your paychecks are being sent to your old department. There, many department administrators have their own drawers, which, in some cases, are filled with students’ paychecks and deposit slips thrown in with papers and old receipts. The department administrator may have the acuity to notice that you no longer work in his/her department (often called to their attention when you call for the employee termination paperwork). In that case, paychecks are sent back up to the employment office at Butler, where they will be left to rot in another drawer (filed by last name this time) until you come looking. Human Resources has dozens of student paychecks. Department administrators are supposed to notify students where they are being sent, but frequently don’t, and an administrator at HR said she would have to spend “all day” sending reminder emails to the checks’ owners. So, if you’ve ever worked a campus job, stop by the fifth floor of Butler- you might just have some more wages languishing unclaimed.