Wisconsin county officials trying to curb overtime spending

Officials in Brown County, Wisconsin, are attempting to stem the amount of money going toward paying overtime workers in the area, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports. However, the county is experiencing conflict with these measures because its employees receive a significant portion of their income through overtime pay.

The county will come close to matching 2009 totals of time-and-a-half pay. Last year, county officials received a total of $2.7 million in overtime. So far, that number has reached $2.4 million through the first 11 months of 2010 - nearly 3.6 percent of the $75 million paid to county employees, according to the paper.

Healthcare facilities, law enforcement and airport employees are the biggest source of overtime pay, but also the hardest to cut given the regular need for 24 hour shifts, the paper details.

Overtime laws in Wisconsin dictate that employees receive one-and-a-half times their regular pay rate for any work over 40 hours, except in most nonprofit organizations and domestic services.

More than 2,000 county officials have received overtime pay so far this year. However, the county is making strides on trimming its payments. In 2008, overtime pay reached a high of $3.8 million before dropping by nearly one-third in 2009.

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