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Douglas ‘Crash’ Hits Workers in Pocketbook

Times Staff Writer

A “crash” usually makes aircraft workers’ hair stand on end, but one that took place Friday just left McDonnell Douglas employees a little short in the pocketbook.

It was a payroll computer--not an airplane--that crashed at the company’s Douglas Aircraft unit, sending out incorrect paychecks to 4,500 workers. And, as might be expected, the checks were made out for too little money, rather than too much.

Douglas said 3,000 salaried workers failed to be paid for overtime they had worked and that 1,500 hourly workers did not get paid for all of their basic 40-hour workweek.

“We are working to correct those errors as fast as we can,” Douglas spokesman Don Hanson said. “Everybody got some kind of paycheck today. The overtime shortfall will be made up within the next two weeks. And everything will be corrected for hourly workers in the next pay cycle.”

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Hanson said it was the first time that the problem had occurred. A computer went haywire, he said, and, by the time it was brought back into operation, the 4,500 paychecks had been processed incorrectly.

“I don’t think anybody thought it was funny,” one Douglas worker said.


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