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Commissioners switch to standard shift schedule
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Switching to a standard shift schedule with judicial commissioners has fixed the one problem, but created another.
“We need some direction because we aren’t sure how we need to be paying them,” said Finance Department director Linda Hillis of the three full-time judicial commissioners.
The information was presented to the county Policy and Personnel Committee on Monday with Commissioners Ken Martin, chair, Carlene Brown, Charles Morgan and Tommy Savage present. Commissioner Wayne Copeland was absent.
In January, the committee decided to change to shifts and assign judicial commissioners to them in an effort to reduce confusion on who works when.
Before switching to set shifts, commissioners were setting their own schedules. They were considered contract labor, meaning they did not qualify for overtime or the same benefits given to other full-time county employees such as vacation time, retirement benefits, insurance, sick time, etc.
Also in January, consideration was given to naming a supervisor whose responsibility would be to oversee the shifts, sign the timecards and address any issues that arise. Jim Hartman was selected. A policy establishing a supervisor position must still be presented to the full Warren County Commission for its consideration.
All three full-time employees will be offered the county’s healthcare coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, any employee working at least 30 hours a week must be offered healthcare coverage, even if they decide not to accept it.
Hartman, unlike the other two full-time judicial commissioners who report to the jail when called to write a warrant, as supervisor must be on site for the entire eight hours of his shift so he would automatically be eligible to receive the same benefits as the county’s other full-time employees.
Hillis questioned if the other two judicial commissioners would be considered full-time employees.
“So, if they are not on site but you are calling them full-time, will they be eligible for the benefits such as vacation, sick leave, holidays?” asked Hillis.
Committee members discussed three options and ultimately voted unanimously to consider them full-time, on-call employees and eligible for benefits.
Also, according to Martin, a part-time judicial commissioner is needed to work as a fill-in when needed. Committee members voted unanimously to begin the process to hire one.