The MTA has no explanation for why some of its employees still refuse to clock in and out with its modern timekeeping system — leaving the agency vulnerable to wage and overtime fraud by “unscrupulous managers and employees,” MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny said.
“The Kronos time clocks were installed almost two years ago, swiping in and out on the clock should be routine across most of the MTA’s agencies by now,” Pokorny said in a statement accompanying her office’s quarterly review of timekeeping practices released Thursday.
“The longer it takes for the MTA to wean itself off of its reliance on archaic ‘honor systems’ to monitor overtime spending, the longer rider and taxpayer dollars will be exposed to potential abuse.”
Pokorny’s office has been keeping tabs on the MTA’s overtime reforms since 2019, after The Post exposed allegations of overtime abuse following a series of exposés on LIRR workers pulling in huge paychecks.
Many of the MTA’s supervisors “relied entirely on the honesty of employees” in doling out OT — creating an “honor system” rife with opportunities for fraud, Pokorny has said.
Officials unveiled plans for reform in late 2019, but the effort was almost instantly stalled by COVID-19, the IG’s office previously reported. The MTA has since missed key deadlines for reforms, while the highly paid executive responsible for the project quit in February.
On Thursday, Pokorny said officials had made progress on a number of reforms since her last report — but that a number of employees still had yet to be integrated into the modern timekeeping system “for no obvious reason.”
Long Island Rail Road’s engineering department, meanwhile, which Pokorny said has seen “frequent” abuses of time, still has 16 percent of its workers either swiping just once in a day or not at all.
As a result, the department “will continue to be at high risk for time abuse until the agency stablishes robust, permanent timekeeping controls … instead of paper labor sheets that employees complete by hand,” the report said.
The MTA did not immediately return a request for comment.