AGENCY TO EMPLOYEES: “YOU SHOULD BE ENTERING ACTUAL TIME WORKED”
Two days after this website exclusively reported on some curious clock-punching activity within S.C. governor Nikki Haley‘s cabinet, at least one of the agencies involved is providing “clarification” to its employees regarding their work hours.
On Monday, we reported that employees at Haley’s scandal-scarred Department of Social Services (SCDSS) were told to falsify their online time cards – or face termination.
“We were told we would be fired if we continued to put in actual working time,” one source told us, referring to data entered into the S.C. Enterprise Information System (SCEIS), an online network which handles payroll administration across state government.
Whoa … is that legal? That question is up for debate … but the agency apparently isn’t taking any chances.
According to internal emails obtained in the aftermath of our original report, SCDSS is seeking to clear up “confusion” about its online time card system – telling employees they “should be entering actual time worked” when logging into SCEIS.
There’s a catch, though …
Any overtime hours worked one day are to be offset using “flex time” the next day – meaning employees are to report working no more than 37.5 hours per week. In other words if an employee worked two extra hours (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) one day, then they are supposed to report showing up to work two hours late the following day.
Now … does this mean these employees will actually get those two hours off? Of course not.
“They gave us a verbal warning as soon as that email was sent,” one SCDSS case worker told us. “We were told the bosses expected us to continue showing up no later than 8:30 each morning no matter what the previous day’s time card said.”
The source added that the new “flex time” directive was “for reporting purposes only.”
As we noted in our original coverage of this issue, we’re not about to start shedding tears for state employees. Far too many of them are working in areas where government doesn’t belong … and far too many of those tasked with performing core functions of government (like SCDSS case workers) aren’t especially efficient or industrious in discharging their duties.
Seriously … this agency has received tens of millions of dollars in new tax money in recent years (yet is producing the same abysmal results).
Still … we think this overtime compensation scandal is a lawsuit waiting to happen, which of course is only going to wind up costing taxpayers even more money.