Commissioners upset with employee's overtime pay

The commissioners expressed verbal anger at Monday's special meeting when they learned that an employee at the jail juggled his work schedule then received overtime pay for working a mental health watch shift.

The Sheriff's Office has a list of people to call to work mental health watch shifts, said Lynette Running, county human resources director.

Using one of these people would have prevented the Sheriff's Office from incurring overtime pay. Running said she has contacted a Denver attorney about the issue.

But Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg said all the employees at the jail are eligible to work the mental health watch.

The job consists of monitoring mental health patients and giving them medications, if necessary.

Mental health patients can be held in the jail for 72 hours.

The employee Running spoke of works four 10-hour days a week, with the option of working Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday. On the week in question, the employee worked Monday through Tuesday then pulled a mental health watch shift. Overtime pay for the mental health shift was $50.25.

Regular mental health watch pay is reimbursed by a mental health service, but the county will have to pick up the difference in overtime.

But because mental health watch patients can only be held for three days, the employee would have had no way of knowing he would get overtime on Friday by adjusting his schedule on Monday, Hoberg said.

Running said she would know more after speaking with the attorney today.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com

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