Pfizer tells workers to refund overpayment

April 1, 2022

A ransomware attack on Pfizer resulted in its employees being overpaid — and now Pfizer is asking for the money back. 

Employees at Pfizer’s facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, said they were overpaid without knowing, after an attack on the Ultimate Kronos Group software used to track employee hours and pay them in December 2021. The Kalamazoo facility is Pfizer’s largest manufacturing site. The 1,300-acre facility produces 1,200 metric tons of ingredients each year, according to Pfizer.

After learning of the mistake, Pfizer requested the employees return the money, leaving many feeling as though the pharma titan has taken advantage of them.

“We all feel that this is Pfizer’s payroll mistake. We never asked for this money, we were never consulted on whether we wanted extra money,” said one worker who requested to remain anonymous, as reported by local Michigan news group, WWMT Channel 3.

Some workers said that the money from the overpayment had already been spent. A letter from Pfizer said that employees could pay the company back over a period of one, three or six months. One employee said he was told he owes Pfizer more than $800 in overpayment.

The company will not forgive the overpayment, but Pfizer said it would give them a $250 credit to apply to their overpayment balance. 

The pharma giant shot to celebrity status after producing the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. In 2021, Pfizer reported more than $80 billion in revenue and 92% operational growth.