County workers must make up lost time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday’s inclement weather threat caused more than one delay for Covington County, as commissioners spent most of Monday’s meeting discussing how to handle the payroll issue created by Friday’s 10 a.m. work start.

Facing the threat of freezing temperatures and icy roadways, both state and county offices opted to delay Friday’s start of business to ensure employees’ safe passage to work.

Monday, those two hours of lost work time for employees caused more than 20 minutes worth of debate among commissioners. Sheriff Dennis Meeks questioned how the issue would be handled for essential personnel, such as road department employees, law enforcement, jail personnel and emergency management personnel who were required to report to work at the appropriate time.

County administrator Brenda Petty’s first solution called for paying all non-essential employees for the two-hour difference and giving essential employees two hours of extra comp time.

However, Meeks said that was an unacceptable solution because it would be too confusing to schedule the time off for employees.

“The goal is for employees to not lose pay or for someone to get extra pay,” Petty said.

Commissioners finally agreed, upon Commissioner David Ellis’ recommendation, to require employees to use vacation time or comp time to make up the two-hour difference in the workweek. Those without vacation or comp time will be required to “make up” the time during the regular workweek.

In other business, the commission:

Heard from Shaw’s Cary Baker concerning the county’s procedures on road closings during weather issues. Baker said he had concerns about Shaw employees traveling on the roadways. County engineer Darren Capps said after such weather-related incidents, roads are closed for safety to allow road department employees adequate time to survey roads and check for damages.

Adopted the 2010 holiday schedule with no changes.

Appointed Susan Carpenter, county emergency management agency director, to serve the remaining term of E-911 Board member Jeff Holland. That term is set to end May 30, 2011. Petty also reminded commissioners that three of the board’s seats expire May 2010.