Commissioners reach decision on local Texas overtime issue

Commissioners in Johnson County, Tex. reached a decision on the issue of time and attendance as well as overtime payments for local officers at the sheriff's office, Keene Star reported. The issues largely pertained to officers in the Johnson County sheriff's office, where deputies put in more than 500 hours in overtime when a tornado struck down in Cleburne on May 15.

The overtime rule currently in place denies employees compensation between working their standard 160 hours per month, and reaching 171 hours worked per month. The issue of the 11 hour gap was raised recently, and it is unclear when the rule originated.

Commissioners were just as baffled as the officers about the reasoning of the payment plan. Fourth Precinct Commissioner Don Beeson said on June 10 that the rule was both unusual and unfair.

"I am not aware of any position in our county that requires you to work 11 hours without pay," he said.

He went on to add that the rule is a significant contributor to the high turnover rate at the sheriff's office, and that it needed to be eliminated.

When the issue was raised at the June 24 meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to strike down the law, effective October 1.

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