We’ve all had jobs, and maybe even some of us have been fired. Now, take a moment to imagine not knowing (or pretending not to know) you’ve been fired from your job and still being able to collect your paycheck for a few years? It sounds a bit odd and far-fetched, doesn’t it? How on earth could that happen? Well, for this New York man, it was a reality for four whole years, and he made a decent wadd of cash in the process!
If this story doesn’t make you giggle (and feel a little jealous, because, well, we all want to be paid without having to actually go to work), we don’t know what will!
Fired or On Sick Leave?
Ronald Berry is an average, everyday, regular, normal guy. He was employed as a New York City subway maintenance man. One day in 2013, Ronald was unfortunately fired. But, the 47-year-old claims he was under the impression that he had been put on indefinite sick leave the entire time. You heard that right. He’d been granted so many years off work because of his asthma and high blood pressure.
Every two weeks, Ronald Berry traveled to a city transit office where he collected his paycheck. And every week, he was given his paycheck with no problems at all. It would appear Ronald had collected a whopping $250,000 since being fired. That’s a huge chunk of money for doing absolutely nothing!
That was until recently. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) finally realized something was amiss. They decided to notify police on October 3rd, 2019, who subsequently arrested Ronald. He was arrested for trespassing when he arrived to collect his paycheck.
How Did This Happen?
Speaking to the New York Post, Mr Berry said;
“I never got a call that I was terminated. I’ve been collecting checks for four f*cking years. How am I still collecting checks? It’s a fault on the MTA side.”
It turns out, Ronald had actually been fired from his subway maintenance job back in 2013. Somehow, someway, he’d landed back on the payroll in 2015.
Ronald spoke to his boss, trying to find out what had happened. He asked him how he might have been still getting paid if he was indeed fired. Apparently, his boss then told him, ‘That’s not my problem, that’s payroll’s problem.’
The Plot Thickens
To make matters even more confusing for all involved, especially Ronald, he claims the company has been sending him letters, too.
“If I’m terminated, why am I getting letters from them? The last one I got was at the end of last month, and I believe it was for asbestos training or track training.
Now, if they would’ve sent me a termination letter, f*ck going to pick a check-up… I’m terminated already; let me file for unemployment.”
The Truth Comes Out On Being Fired
As it turns out, Mr. Berry probably knew all along that he wasn’t off on ‘sick leave.’ Every paycheck Ronald collected specifically stated his ‘hours worked.’ This means that there’s no way he could have mistaken it for anything else.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has since confirmed that Mr. Berry was criminally charged for trespassing after being ‘observed inside an employee-only NYC transit facility.’
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is doing some investigating too as to how this could have happened. The agency is now using biometric fingerprint technology to allow workers and employees to clock in and out of work. Had they made use of the technology sooner, perhaps Ronald would not have been able to get away with so many years paid.
Tim Minton, a spokes person for The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has said;
“Anyone who inappropriately took public money will be held accountable to the full extent of the law”.
As much as we’d like to see unlawful get what they deserve, we can’t help but laugh and wonder how it took The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this long to notice. Now that is a story to remember.
- “Man Fired From Job Keeps Turning Up And Getting Paid For Four More Years.” UNILAD. Lucy Connolly. October 7, 2019.
- “Bronx man fired from MTA continued to collect $250K in paychecks.” New York Post. David Meyer, Israel Salas-Rodriguez, Dean Balsamini, and Ruth Weissmann. October 5, 2019.