PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Nurses Association told KOIN 6 News Monday that they’ve asked the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to launch an investigation into Providence Health, accusing them of wage theft.

The nurses association says Providence systematically underpaid thousands of healthcare workers by using a faulty payroll system. They also say it’s been happening since July.

“It feels like we don’t matter. No one at Providence is accountable,” said ONA member Danica Trujillo, a registered nurse at Providence Portland Medical Center. “I’ve spent hours auditing my time cards. On my days off, I’m on the phone with Providence’s HR. I feel like I can’t afford to spend any money because I don’t know if I’ll receive the money I’ve earned next week or not. I’m working a job but I’m not getting paid for it. I don’t know what my future holds.”

In August, more than 200 members joined a class action lawsuit against the hospital.

In a statement, the Oregon Nurses Association says in part; “Due to Providence’s repeated payroll failures, frontline nurses and other hourly health care workers have incurred debt and shouldered added financial stress… Including having their bank accounts overdrawn and facing financial penalties, foregoing monthly payments.”

In response, Providence released a statement to KOIN 6:

“Ensuring timely accurate pay is one of Providence’s most important responsibilities as an employer, and we are deeply sorry to those affected by recent paycheck discrepancies.

While the vast majority of issues have been resolved and retroactive pay has been provided, Providence ministries recognize that some errors are continuing to occur, and remain acutely aware of the hardship this creates for caregivers and their families.

To mitigate financial impacts and to ensure caregivers remain whole, we implemented a ‘fast pay’ program in September to provide missed pay within 24 hours of a paycheck issue being identified.

Providence’s Oregon ministries are currently reviewing the concerns raised in the letter from the Oregon Nurses Association to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. We can say this is categorically not “theft” or intentional “systematic underpayment” of caregivers, as ONA alleges.

Rather, it is a case of complex pay structures across the Providence family of organizations, as well as the growing pains of implementing a new technology platform to support administrative functions and services.

Ultimately, the new system, Genesis, will make it easier for caregivers to get information and manage changes from any device at any time. Until then, we remain absolutely committed to addressing issues to ensure caregivers receive correct and timely pay. We remain deeply grateful to all of our caregivers for all they do on behalf of our communities and the patients we serve.”