Council President Questions Century Overtime Pay Policy

October 4, 2017

One member of the Century Town Council is questioning employee overtime pay policies.

Council President Ann Brooks said the town paid $55,880 in overtime during the fiscal year ending September 30, plus provided $15,345 in comp time.  The town’s budget for the new fiscal year that started Sunday only includes a $15,000 allotment for overtime.

“We can’t have overtime like this and not budget for it,” Brooks said.

The town currently pays time-and-a-half overtime to employees that work over eight hours, including employees that are “on call” for after-hours repairs needed to water, sewer and natural gas services. Since the overtime is per day, it is possible for an employee to receive overtime pay without working 40 hours in a week due to holidays, sick days, vacation and other paid days off.

Brooks said the policy should follow federal labor guidelines and only pay overtime for employees that have actually worked over 40 hours during a week.

“You can’t bite from both sides of the apple,” council member Louis Gomez said. He, however, said he wanted to review the overtime policy before making any changes.

The Century Town Council has set  workshop to discuss “budget and policy” items, including the overtime issue, at 5:15 on Monday, October 9.

NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Comments

25 Responses to “Council President Questions Century Overtime Pay Policy”

  1. Juanita McCaw Watson on October 8th, 2017 5:23 pm

    Quoting Ms. Brooks, “Brooks said the policy should follow federal labor guidelines and only pay overtime for employees that have actually worked over 40 hours during a week.” This should have been implemented long ago specifically if the fiscal year budget is only allocating 15k compared to the 71k spent in the previous year. Federal guidelines are that you start to accrue overtime/compensatory time once you have worked 40 hours in a week.

    Quoting the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) “Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.”

    As far as “on-call”, pay should be provided if services are performed–and only if the person has to take care of a job-related situation. Quoting the Department of Labor–The DOL Wage and Hour Division has stated that if an employee “is required to remain on call on the employer’s premises or so close thereto that he cannot use the time effectively for his own purposes,” the waiting time is considered hours worked under the FLSA and is compensable. On the other hand, an employee who is “merely required to leave word at his home or with company officials where he can be reached” after his regular working hours is not entitled to compensation for his on-call time.

    I am interested to see what decisions will be made based on the previous years spending and the new budget. Great call Ms. Ann.

    Juanita– DOD employee, HR Representative, and Labor Employee Relations Advisor

  2. David Huie Green on October 6th, 2017 11:43 am

    One of the silly little quirks of the thirteenth amendment is that if you require someone to do something, you have to pay for that work.

    If you require someone to stand by, you have to pay him.

    David for antislavery amendment

  3. chris on October 5th, 2017 10:32 am

    @ confused aka Kevin: when I seek sound business or financial advice, the Town of Century City Council is the first place that comes to mind.

  4. Adam S. Jones on October 5th, 2017 4:51 am

    Most agreements are written into a contract. Something along the lines of 15 minutes of pay per hour to be on-call. People make it sound like it’s glamorous but in reality, you give up a lot. Regardless of what you may have planned, you live by a cell phone, you cannot drink alcoholic beverages, go out of town and leave your family when the phone rings. To me, you’ve given up your weekend for change on a dollar.

    Another approach they can consider is “flexing your time”. Essentially this is done 2 ways;

    1) Rotate the days off to include a Saturday as a regular work day for one employee and a Sunday for the other. In turn, one of their days off are during the week. Example, if I have to work Saturday, my days off would be Sunday/Monday. If I had to work Sunday, my days off would be Friday/Saturday,

    2) If an employee get called out for 4 hours at night (say 8pm-12am) they would flex their time later during the week and take off those accumulated 4 hours. They could choose to come in late or leave early one day but the goal is to NOT work over 40 hours.

    Just my 2 cents, we’ve been practicing this for many years and “overtime” is a profanity here.

  5. Chelleepea on October 4th, 2017 7:53 pm

    @kevin, I didn’t say anything about employees making overtime rules. But I do have some typos so let me rewrite it. Ann brooks is correct about over time. We should follow federal rules method of over 40 hours per week instead of over 8 hours per day.

    It’s great that the checks and balances are working for the city. Too bad this wasn’t noticed sooner. I’m not blaming the employees and they should be paid for being on call since you pretty much can’t go anywhere or do too much of anything when on call.

  6. Resident on October 4th, 2017 6:38 pm

    If you click on the blue “names”*confused* is also Keven Merchant98

  7. just saying on October 4th, 2017 5:51 pm

    Now that you brought it up..

    yes I think McCall was Boss Hog. but probably because he had to be and chose to be.

    do you want want ECUA in here running the utility? Not no but heck NO! Their rates are high and a myriad of problems ensue.

    and we want to keep or incorporation so we can file for Grants. The County of D5 has proved some what to not be particularly supportive, such as in RESTORE $ etc.

    Keep Century going, maybe not perfect but better than the alternative

    Just what does Gary Riley, & Mc Murray Jackson do anyway?

    Warm up a seat..push glasses down on their nose shuffle paper work around?

    Move over and get Stead back on there, at least he does more than just show up and pretend to listen..

  8. Confused on October 4th, 2017 5:11 pm

    Chris seems to me you might want to consider having your boss to consult with the century council and see if they can get you some kind of compensation for being on stand by

  9. old man on October 4th, 2017 5:04 pm

    this is not about employees pay yesterday passed through century for the first time in several years and the town looks neat along hwy29 looks so much better than the old century

  10. confused on October 4th, 2017 3:09 pm

    @ Chris, you have made 2 comments that are wrong. It’s not just 55k in overtime,it is 71k over spent on the overtime budget. So let me explain it to you so you’ll understand it better next time. Comp time is overtime worked, but employees choose to take that work pay as time off instead of getting it put on their pay check. It’s pretty smart if you think about it. It’s a way of building up your vacation leave

  11. confused on October 4th, 2017 2:55 pm

    why is mayor Hawkins having to explain all these mess ups on last years under budgeting problems when it was good ole Fred McCall who presented this mess to the council,and it was the council who voted on it and the mess passed. Maybe we should allow good ole Fred to explain exactly what he was thinking when he brought this crap to the table. Pretty sure he’s got a logical explanation, but doesn’t feel obligated to explain it.

  12. chris on October 4th, 2017 2:52 pm

    I rotate out for on call every 7 weeks, and I am only paid when I drive to the facility, work, and then drive home. And I work for a company with way more assets than Century has.

  13. confused on October 4th, 2017 2:42 pm

    maybe we should look at the persons sitting in the middle and far right end of the table there in the picture,they may be part of this over time miss understanding. This method of pay didn’t just start last week. It’s been like this for years now. Everyone else at the table including the mayor is fairly new so they could not have had a hand in setting this method of pay up. Instead of the mayor trying to explain this, maybe, just maybe Ann Brooks and Gary Riley should be on the chopping block for a change

  14. kevin merchant on October 4th, 2017 2:09 pm

    chelleepea the council members are the ones who put the over time pay in motion, not the employees

  15. kevin merchant on October 4th, 2017 2:06 pm

    Jim you are correct thats exactly what stand by means. you set at home and do nothing to enjoy your weekend. you give up 48 hours of your free time in return for 4 hours of straight pay. to Chris, no it’s not just 2 employees who made the 55k. We rotate the employees who are on call every weekend. It’s only right for us all to get a little bit the pie right, but since everyone is so interested in what the town employees make yaw should check with the city hall, we might be hiring. I’m not sure but if we are we will be more than happy to share a little bit of that big ole lump sum of money with yaw if you are up for the task.

  16. Resident on October 4th, 2017 1:00 pm

    Yes please manage the town well. Thank you. Thanks to the employees but please do not take advantage (not saying you are)

    We have to stay in budget. It’s apparently a close tight one.

    Thanks Mrs. Brooks for your accounting and over site.

    It shows the Mayor and Council are working– checks and balances.

    BTW–the newsletter in the water bill was a great idea. Even if you do not get a web site up at least you can communicate directly that way.

  17. Chelleepea on October 4th, 2017 12:26 pm

    Ann Bros is corrected on over time . We should follow federal rules of any hours per week being overtime. I’ve never heard of the over 8 hour per day method. That is very odd. Should have been addressed long time ago.

  18. chris on October 4th, 2017 10:30 am

    And then Century residents wonder why nobody takes the town seriously.

  19. Jim on October 4th, 2017 9:46 am

    @Kevin: So, if you are “on call”, you get an hourly pay even if you don’t get called out? You could be at home watching TV or taking a nap, and get paid?

  20. chris on October 4th, 2017 8:36 am

    Two employees racked up 55K in OT?

  21. chris on October 4th, 2017 7:32 am

    Spend 55K and budget 15K. Makes perfect sense.

  22. bow hunter on October 4th, 2017 7:16 am

    Never Heard Of Overtime When Not Working 40 hrs Or During Holiday Week

  23. Kevin Merchant on October 4th, 2017 6:19 am

    To clarify on call pay is straight time, we only get paid over time if we are called out to work after hours. Everyone doesn’t get this pay. Only 2 employees receive this, that is 1 employee for the gas department and 1 employee for the water department.

  24. fred on October 4th, 2017 5:51 am

    Ms. Brooks is on the right track here. I’d also suggest that they look into a policy of approval before overtime is worked. In this way, you wouldn’t have employees unilaterally working the overtime hours and running up a big tab. There are times when overtime is necessary, but the departments should have some controls should help keep from running up 4 times your budget in OT pay. I’m not saying anyone is doing anything wrong, but you do need to control your payroll funds, and “approved-only” OT is an effective tool.

  25. Sam on October 4th, 2017 5:38 am

    I smell some kind of rate increase coming. Its gonna get expensive to live in century.





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