Facebook | Ronald K. Berry

Man Gets Fired But Continues To Show Up To Work And Gets Paid For 4 More Years

Paddy Clarke 8 Oct 2019

In New York, one subway maintenance worker has been hitting headlines after being arrested for receiving $250,000 pay from a job which he had apparently been fired from four years prior.

47 year-old Ronald Berry was identified as the man who claims he didn't know he'd been fired for four years!


However, in Berry's defense, he never had any problems collecting his bi-weekly paycheck over a four-year period and was still apparently receiving letters from the job he was supposed to have lost.

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Berry was under the impression that he had been placed on sick leave.

Facebook | Ronald K. Berry

Berry claims that he had been placed on sick leave back in 2015 for high blood pressure and asthma.

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And he wasn't making chump change either.


Berry's total earnings over the period are said to have reached $250,000 before the metropolitan transportation authority's suspicions were aroused.

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Berry was arrested last Thursday for trespassing when trying to collect his pay.

Unsplash | Mathieu Turle

In an interview with the New York Post, Berry explained his shock at having been arrested and his disbelief at how long it has taken the MTA to notice.

"I never got a call that I was terminated. I've been collecting checks for four f**king years."

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The stunned ex-subway cleaner said that the fault resided solely with the MTA.

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"It's a fault on the MTA side [...] If I'm terminated why am I getting letters from them?"

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"The last one I got was at the end of last month, and I believe it was for asbestos training or track training."


Berry also claimed that when he tried to explain to his boss what had been happening, his boss replied, "That's not my problem, that's payroll's problem."

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The introduction of bio-metric finger scanners for clocking in and out are thought to be what tipped off payroll.

Instagram | nyc.graffhead

It is uncertain how payroll would allow this to happen for so long; however, it is possible that without the introduction of a new biometric finger scanning system, that Berry may have managed to continue his wild ride for much longer.

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A lot of aspects to this story don't QUITE add up.

Giphy | CBC

In terms of the paychecks themselves, the checks did not mention disability on them and instead noted Berry's supposed "hours worked", according to Transit sources.

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Berry claims that if he had been aware about his termination, he would have filed for unemployment.

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Berry was quoted as saying, "Now if they would've sent me a termination letter, f**k going to pick a check up [...] I'm terminated already, let me file for unemployment."

Aside from his arrest for trespassing when trying to pick up his cheque, it is unclear what will happen to Berry moving forward.

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The MTA will be investigating the incident.

Facebook | Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Tim Minton, a spokesperson for the MTA, released a statement saying:

"The investigation will follow the facts, and anyone who inappropriately took public money will be held accountable to the full extent of the law."

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Since the story has broken across the internet, a lot of people were confused by how this could be allowed to happen.

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However, the majority of people leaped to Berry's defense, with some people finding the story quite amusing:

"[C]an anyone explain how this could happen for F-O-U-R years?? Someone in payroll and his sup should be held accountable..why didn't they know he didn't work there..#incredible."

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Some even said that Berry had a pretty strong case.

Giphy | Ariana Grande

"If MTA fails to prove it notified Mr. Berry he'd been terminated (a notice apparently never provided to its own payroll dept), then I predict Mr. Berry will sue the MTA for defamation."

With one person even making the unavoidable Seinfeld reference, "George Costanza would be proud."

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Regardless of what happens going forward, this story is a baffling ride.

Facebook | Ronald K. Berry

For most people, the idea of not having to go to work and just pick up paycheques every now and then for nothing is a dream come true, so it is understandable why public opinion would be largely on Berry's side.

The fact that no one thought to flag this up earlier is unbelievable, and I imagine the future of this case will depend on whether the MTA, or a separate body, can prove that Berry definitely received his termination notice.

h/t: New York Post

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