County now limiting part-time employees to 29 hours per week

Friday, February 22, 2013

A new limit on hours for part-time employees, along with stricter enforcement of the guideline, has some Putnam County department heads in need of more employees.

Putnam County Sheriff Steve Fenwick was before the county commissioners and county council Tuesday requesting permission to fill one full-time jail officer position and eight part-time jail positions.

The full-time position is a routine move, needed because of a recent termination.

The need for eight part-time jailers raised eyebrows on both boards, though. The problem is that the allowed number of hours for a part-time employee has been reduced to 29 per week.

While this is a small change from the old standard of 30 hours, that standard was not enforced.

County insurance agent HBG has advised officials the standards must be closely followed, as employees who exceed 29 hours could be considered full time and therefore be owed benefits in addition to their hourly pay.

Both boards approved the request, understanding that it requires no new money.

The standard is also likely to have an effect on the use of part-time help by 911 Dispatch, but director Dave Costin was unaware of the change before Tuesday's meetings.

Costin did, however, request the hiring of a new full-time dispatcher and six part-time dispatchers, as well as a slight reorganization of the command structure of his department.

The department had been organized with Costin as director and two assistant directors below him. The extra pay for one of the assistant directors will now be split between two supervisors, with the other assistant director remaining in place.

The council approved the requests for the hires and the re-organization. The commissioners approved the moves at an earlier meeting.

The hours limit will not affect county highway part-time help, which is considered seasonal.

While the change also does not affect the employees of her office, Assessor Nancy Dennis was also at the council meeting asking to fill four full-time positions and one part-time position.

Two of the full-time positions are simply in-house transfers, while the other two will be new hires.

The council approved the request.

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  • I'm guessing that this move has something to do with Obamacare. Pretty sure that they defined "Part Time" as less than 30 hrs / week. Not surprised to see this move by the county because the insurance costs would probably kill them if they permitted this to continue. Still stinks for these workers who are now going to see their hours cut. Thanks again Obama for that wonderful piece of legislation.

    -- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 9:01 AM
  • The definition of part-time has not changed due to any new legislation. The insurance risks have always been there. Just look at Wal-Mart, they know how to keep their employees below the threshold.

    -- Posted by Geologist on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 6:19 PM
  • All public entities will soon be moving part-time employees below the 30 hours threshold. This will negatively affect many people, but there is little choice for those employers that are publicly funded. Get ready to watch it spread everywhere.

    -- Posted by Valzo on Mon, Feb 25, 2013, at 4:10 PM
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