Skip to main content

Gwinnett County, GA Wants Its Money Back

Gwinnett County, Georgia paid a round of employee bonuses in 1994.

Now it's asking the employees to give the money back, saying the county overpaid them due to a "payroll anomaly." The county is telling the employees they can either return the money in cash or have it deducted from their vacation time.

The county is still seeking $39,690.46 in employee reimbursements. From an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story:

The payroll anomaly dates back to Sept. 30, 1994, when the county adjusted employee pay cycles. The adjustment resulted in shortening one pay period from a 14 days to 12 days. Under normal circumstances, employees who worked the shortened pay cycle would have received less pay, but to avoid financial hardship, paychecks were increased to counteract any shortfall.

In all, Gwinnett County overpaid 509 people a total of $114,876.55 that week.

Since then, the county has collected the overpayment from employee paychecks at retirement. So far, it has recovered $75,186.09 from 329 employees.

So the county was helping employees avoid a gap in pay in 1994, but now it wants them to reimburse the difference in 2010. In between, Princess Diana passed away, President Clinton was impeached, the dot-com era came and went, 9/11 happened, the Iraq War started, President Obama was elected and Justin Bieber drove tween girls insane on Oprah. Let's just say some time has passed since these paychecks were handed out.

Gwinnett County CFO Aaron Bovos says it's an effort to "clean up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations." I call it "another way to stress employees out in a recession."

Can you imagine being notified that you need to reimburse your employer (or former employer) for a payment made 16 years ago, and in tough economic times to boot? If my math is correct the reimbursement works out to about $220 per worker, which isn't a huge amount of money but it isn't chump change, either. Most likely it means losing a few days of vacation time but I wonder why the county waited so long to deal with it.

Why am I suddenly thinking of Howard Beale's "mad as hell" speech from the movie Network? Plaid jackets and Marcia Brady hairdos aside, it's eerie how much this clip from 1976 still resonates today. Take it away, Howard.


Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…