Facebook moderators at an Accenture site in Austin are facing a pay disaster that has left many people without their vacation checks. Site workers are taking care of moderation, customer service and other tasks for Facebook and WhatsApp – and a work stoppage has already been threatened if the situation is not resolved.
The problems started as early as January 4, when some workers noticed errors in the paid vacation tracking system (PTO), administrative confusion attributed to a recent change in payroll provider at the site. Things got more serious when the January 6 series of paychecks did not arrive. Internal pay stub systems showed that many paychecks were reset, and workers had no idea when they might receive their money.
In an open letter to the CEOs of Facebook and Accenture, posted on an internal bulletin board, a group of workers pledged to stop work at the site until the paychecks are fully issued.
“If these problems are not resolved immediately, a work stoppage will be declared,” the letter promises. “The work stoppage will begin on January 7, 2022 if nothing is resolved.”
Several lump sum payments were made to affected workers shortly after the letter was published, and Accenture says the company saw no indication of a coordinated work stoppage at the site in the days that followed.
In a call with employees on Saturday, a general manager at the Accenture site said he was unsure when the issue would be resolved, but that the company would cover any late or overdraft fees incurred as a result of the delay. . “You will receive the amounts owed to you,” he said on the call, “and we will get it to you as quickly as possible.”
Some workers received lump sum payments from the company, intended to delay them until the total amount could be correctly calculated. But site workers say not everyone has received the payments, and many are in dire financial straits.
On Monday evening, an Austin site moderator said more than 50 people on his team still had not been paid. “I know a lot of them who are behind on bills, utilities, food and rent,” he said. The edge. “When you’re only paid $ 16 an hour in a city like Austin, missing a check is like missing a leg. “
The problem is particularly serious because of the paid overtime and expenses incurred during the holidays, which have been lost in the brewing between providers. “Some employees have had to take payday loans just to have enough money to buy food for their children,” said another employee. The edge.
Contacted for comment, Accenture rep Stacey Jones said the company was working to resolve the issue. “We recently changed payroll providers and encountered unforeseen challenges during our first payroll with the new payroll provider,” Jones told The Verge. “Our number one priority since last week has been to charge our employees who have encountered problems – and we continue to encourage our employees who need help to contact their supervisor or human resources, so that we can help them. help solve. “
Meta (parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) often outsources moderation and other personnel services to companies like Accenture, although the arrangement has been driven to employee welfare in other cases. A 2019 Edge A survey of an Accenture site in Austin moderating YouTube videos found that managers often forced employees to work breaks and forgo vacations when faced with high demand.
Contacted for comment, Facebook confirmed the disruption and highlighted Accenture’s efforts to address it. “Accenture has made its employees aware of this issue,” said Kadia Koroma, representative for Meta, “and is working to resolve it as soon as possible.”
Update at 1:35 p.m. ET: Added new information from Accenture that the company did not see evidence of work stoppage at the site.