An error with payroll within the Tupelo Police Department has the city on the hook for over $850,000 which will be paid out to certain officers. A statement from the city claims that the issue caused insufficient record keeping by the police department which did not allow for proper documentation of time worked by their employees.
The issue was recognized as the payroll was being switched from Human Resources to Budget and Accounting. The budget office was able to identify that the practice had been in place for “at least two decades.” After receiving complaints about the matter, an investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division of the US Labor Department. The city’s statement outlines the findings and the results of the investigation.
“After lengthy interviews with multiple police employees and Human Resources and Budget and Accounting personnel, the city and Wage and Hour investigators determined:
- Prior to implementation of the accurate time-keeping systems in late 2016, the police department had not properly accounted for or accurately recorded time worked by policemen.
- Prior to implementation of the accurate time-keeping systems in late 2016, the police department had maintained inadequate allowable compensatory time records to compensate police employees for overtime under FLSA rules.
- After implementation of the accurate time-keeping systems in late 2016, the city has maintained accurate time-keeping and record keeping in the police department since December 1, 2016.”
While the practice may have been in place for decades, the payout period, which accounts for the $850,000, is from August 2015 through December 2016.
Affected officers will be notified and presented with a release and given a check for those hours. Final payouts to the officers will be calculated and determined by the Wage and Hour Division.
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