72 Aiken County employees impacted by Overtime Rule, funds to compensate workers not in budget

If the Overtime Rule sticks, Aiken County currently doesn't have the money to pay workers for their extra hours and a contingency fund was not included in the 2017 fiscal budget.
If the Overtime Rule sticks, Aiken County currently doesn't have the money to pay workers for their extra hours and a contingency fund was not included in the 2017 fiscal budget.

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – In a last effort to stop the Department of Labor’s new Overtime Rule, 21 states filed a motion to temporarily block the order.

The Overtime Rule nearly doubles the current overtime salary threshold to $47,476.

South Carolina is one of the states seeking an injunction because it would cost employers more than $2 million dollars to be in compliance with the law.

If you’re annual salary is between $23,660 to $47,476 and you work more than 40 hours a week, your employer will have to compensate you for the extra hours or increase your salary to the new threshold.

This goes into effect on December 1, but due to the payroll cycle some employers have no option but to enact the rule Friday.

“We have 72 people in that range,” Aiken County Human Resources Director Gayle Wolman told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Wolman says right now the plan is to make sure no one exceeds their 40 hour work week.

However, if the Overtime Rule sticks, Aiken County currently doesn’t have the money to pay workers for their extra hours and a contingency fund was not included in the 2017 fiscal budget.

“Salaried workers here, tend to work a lot longer hours.” Wolman said. “They work many more than 40 hours. Some of that is because we are very lean here in the county. We don’t have a lot of employees to do a lot of jobs.”

People who work for the county government tend to wear many hats, requiring them to put in more time at the office.

Wolman says she’s tracked the overtime and it would cost taxpayers an extra $140,000 dollars to compensate workers.

Still there are exceptions to the rule. It’s those departments that can’t stick to the regular 40 hour week.

“That would be our Emergency Management, medical services, our sheriff’s office and our Detention Center,” said Wolman. “So those 3 areas will continue to operate as they always have, they will be calculated for overtime and they will received that time.”

Aiken County Councilman Andrew Siders says the county aims to be fair when it comes to paying their employees, and feels the Department of Labor is going to send many employers into turmoil.

“It’s going to cause a tremendous burden on a lot of people,” said Siders. “Not just big companies but small companies as well.”

The lawsuit challenging the Overtime Rule was filed in Texas.

A ruling could be made within the next week.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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