Skip to content

Quorum Court Approves SO Overtime, Declines To Fund Investigator Position

Members of the Johnson County Quorum Court approved an ordinance during their monthly meeting Thursday, March 14, allowing overtime pay for law enforcement employees but declined to approve an additional investigator position at the sheriff’s office.

Justices of the peace approved an amendment to the county employment policy authorizing the sheriff to pay cash overtime to law enforcement personnel, including deputies and detention officers who are paid under the 28-day, 171-hour overtime election. The overtime will replace compensatory time off.

Sheriff Tom Hughes requested the change in county policy at meetings of the Court’s personnel committee on Feb. 20 and March 4. Hughes said deputies had requested overtime and he wanted to make the change from comp time to overtime to comply with labor standards and to provide additional incentives for employees.

“I want to pay my guys overtime,” Hughes told the committee. “Comp time and overtime can only be cut down by having more people. I would really like to see more people. If not, I want to pay these guys overtime.”

Chief Deputy Jacob Shook said accumulation of comp time, which is time off awarded at a rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked over the regular shift, creates more comp time, as additional officers are called in to cover shifts for those who are taking off.

Shook told the personnel committee there are 1,900 hours of comp time accumulated by sheriff’s office employees and County Clerk Michelle Frost said the value of the time owed is approximately $30,000.

County Attorney Jason Owens told the Court wage laws allow counties to elect comp time in lieu of overtime and that most public entities use comp time. He added a “use it or lose it” policy cannot be implemented as the time is earned by an employee and must be compensated. He said regulations are in place to force employers to manage manpower requirements by hiring additional workers if there is a need.

Hughes said he would like to be able to hire additional officers but currently is restricted by budgetary limits. He said he has capped his officers’ shift lengths at 12 hours for the safety of the officers, citing a recent incident that occurred as a result of an officer being overtired.

The policy states comp time will remain the default policy for employees, but deputies and jailers desiring cash overtime instead of comp time will be required to submit a request prior to working the overtime, or as soon as practicable after the worked overtime, if prior request is impossible. The sheriff will then make a prompt determination of whether cash overtime will be permitted. If no decision has been made by the sheriff before the time the next payroll is submitted to the clerk, compensatory time will be given…

For full story see the March 27 edition of The Graphic, found online with a subscription or in businesses throughout Johnson County.

Leave a Comment