Dispatchers to get $21K in back pay

Rockdale emergency dispatchers will receive $21,000 in back pay after a misunderstanding of personnel law found a compensation error.

Police Chief Thomas Harris said while law enforcement personnel are paid on an 80-hour-per-week basis, dispatchers are not considered law enforcement personnel and must be paid on a standard 40-hour-perweek basis.

Harris said the oversight was on his part and that several area towns still operate under the 80-hour-perweek assumption, even though Texas employment laws state dispatchers fall under the regular employee guidelines.

Harris contacted the Texas Municipal League after finding out the city was liable for up to two years of back pay for overtime worked by dispatch- ers. That organization advised the city to make good on the back pay or risk lawsuits.

Harris told the council the back pay would be divided among the town’s five dispatchers.

“Their schedule will remain as it is,” Harris said, but added that changes in overtime procedures will be enacted.

“We want to get this right and be in compliance,” he said.

The funds will be taken from the city’s contingency fund, City Manager Kelvin Knauf said.

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2010-06-17 digital edition

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