Portage revamps comp time policy

2013-11-06T18:00:00Z 2013-11-07T06:50:04Z Portage revamps comp time policyJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The City Council this week approved an ordinance revamping compensatory time policies for city employees.

The move, said Clerk-Treasurer Chris Stidham, not only puts in writing one policy for all employees, but could save the city a significant amount of money.

Previously, comp time was governed by a series of memos. About two years ago, when city administrations changed, the city had to pay out a significant amount of money to employees in administrative roles who left city government, Stidham said.

He said Mayor James Snyder attempted to get a handle on the issue by setting a policy verbally, limiting comp time, but that that, too, had been ignored.

The policy divides employees into two groups. Exempt employees are department heads and others in management positions. Nonexempt employees, who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, are those not in management positions.

Exempt employees are required to work the number of hours needed to complete their tasks. That can vary from week to week, Stidham said. They can no long earn comp time. They can earn up to 24 hours of flex time, which they must use or lose.

Exempt employees can only earn comp time or overtime if the mayor and City Council president decides an emergency exists and grants an exemption to the policy.

Nonexempt employees may accumulate no more than 40 hours of comp time. If they accumulate more than 40 hours, they will be paid overtime. The total will be reset to zero each year.

Stidham said he believes this will require department heads to keep a tighter control of hours worked by employees under their direction, as having employees work more than their 40 hours a week will more quickly affect their budgets.

Stidham said those owed comp time have been paid for those hours owed and the policy will be effective immediately.

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