NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Perspective

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In ubiquitous public relations announcements around Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) proudly points to its 52,000-person workforce delivering high-quality care. However, when the government sought to collect payroll taxes on UPMC, the company claimed it owed nothing because not a single employee actually works for UPMC. All 52,000 are, technically, on the books of UPMC's 40-plus subsidiaries, and a UPMC spokesman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in October that he not only didn't know which subsidiary the UPMC CEO worked for but which one he himself worked for. He also said he didn't know how many subsidiaries paid payroll taxes, but a UPMC attorney said its arrangement is "widely practiced throughout the business community."

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