Apr 2, 2013 6:59 PM by Chris Welty
The Lafayette Parish School Board is looking to change its overtime policy after tens of thousands of dollars were improperly paid in overtime.
They are blaming it on a policy change eight years ago that they say led to employees
mis-interpreting the policy's true meaning.
The human resources director is unsure exactly how much un-earned overtime has been paid, but he estimates between 50 and 80-thousand dollars a year since 2004.
Special Assistant to the Superintendent, Thad Welch is is the person who brought overtime issues to the board's attention.
"There were variations on the theme of what people understood overtime to be," said Human Resources Director Bruce Leininger.
The board is working to clarify the new overtime policy in the employee handbook.
"The policy spells out what the regulations say, and it's in writing. If people have questions, they can ask them based upon the understanding from the reading," said Leininger.
Board Member Greg Awbrey says it would be difficult to hold employees accountable for the overtime already paid.
"Anybody looking at the time sheet could have recalculated it and said you did this wrong, this is the way it's supposed to be done. We're not just talking about the individual, we're talking about a couple of departments who also missed it," said Awbrey.
Leininger says it would be time consuming to pinpoint employees were paid too much and could cost the board even more money.
"If the board wants us to do it, we will. It would take quite a bit of work, the time sheets are not in a form that's easily read. The way time is recorded isn't consistent."
Plans are also to simplify record keeping.
"It's not like we don't want to pay people for overtime they earn, but we want to make sure they earn it and are paid it the correct way," said Leininger.
The school board will take the overtime issue up at the meeting tomorrow.