MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Shelby County Commission is considering cleaning up how and when workers can take time off.
Last year ABC 24 News told you about lax policies that allow county workers to collect extra paid days off. After we looked into the issue, all of that changed. Now the administration wants to tighten rules even more.
County leaders say this is just a continuation of trying to spell out on paper what's allowed and what's not when it comes to employees getting time off.
Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy explains that upcoming changes on how and when employees get off work are "just cleaning up." Details include everything from when employees can take off during bad whether to emergency leave.
Of course there is a change to how controversial bonus days are counted. They will now be counted annually, not by an employee's hire date.
Remember, bonus days are the extra paid days off work employees get for not calling in sick. Don't call in sick for three months, and get an extra paid day off work. Employees can earn an extra four days a year and you pay for it.
Kennedy didn't have an explanation for why the bonus day policy even exists. "I'm not a proponent of our bonus day system. It's part of our personnel policy and until it gets changed… maybe one day in the future it will."
Bonus days earned for not calling in sick are different than the bonus day bonanza ABC 24 News uncovered last year. That's when employees earned hundreds of extra paid days off work for donations to the United Way and other charities. It was costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"What we cleaned up was the extra days off for fundraising, blood drives, things like that, that has been eliminated," Kennedy said.
Truth is the latest changes being considered clearly spell out what's allowed and what's not, leaving little wiggle room for abuse.
The new rules don't only protect the county, some protect the workers. For example if an employee is charged with a crime and suspended but not convicted, the new policy guarantees the employee back pay.