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County paychecks withheld one week

McCreary County Judge Executive announced this week that all county employees would have their paychecks withheld for one week in order to align all departments on the same pay schedule and to alleviate concerns from the state auditor’s office.

Stephens stated the move comes at the suggestion of state auditors who noted the misaligned work weeks and pay period discrepancy led to several employees submitting time cards with estimations of hours worked for the final days of the pay period.

These estimations could be considered fraud if an employee reports hours actually not worked, or would require an amended time sheet to be submitted on the next pay period.

Other payroll-related issues are being addressed such as employees now being required to record lunch periods on their time sheets.

Stephens stated the issue originates from new hires who do not have their first week of work not automatically withheld as is common in business, causing a discrepancy in the pay periods.

Before the move several departments within the county are on differing work-week, such as EMS and 911 whose pay period was from Wednesday through the following Thursday.

Now, all departments will be on the same schedule, Monday through Sunday, and will have payroll cut at the same time.

At last month’s Fiscal Court meeting a county employee asked about the proposed withholding, stating that missing a paycheck would harm several employees who rely on the bi-weekly checks.

At the time Judge Stephens stated he was looking at ways to make up the discrepancy, and listened to suggestions including holding back a day in each pay period for several weeks.

Tuesday Stephens said other options were considered, but the logistics of managing such a move involving several departments and employees over several weeks was too cumbersome.

Stephens said he chose this month to enact the one-week withhold since there are three scheduled pay periods in the month.

“I purposely picked a month with three paychecks to ease the burden on employees,” he said. “I understand the impact this can have on our employees and their families, but I believe this was the best way to go about it.”

Stephens reassures employees they will not be loosing any money with the move.

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