Workers Asked to Return Bonuses After 16 Years

About 180 Gwinnett County employees are being notified they were overpaid 16 years ago and it's time to make good on the advance. As part of its rejuvenated effort to go after every penny it's owed, the county is seeking to collect $39,690.46 from employees who received the bonus in their paychecks in 1994. [via ajc]

"Yes, the county has initiated a project to clean-up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations wherever possible," said Aaron Bovos, Gwinnett County chief financial officer.

The initiative is part of an on-going effort to better manage assets and resources, Bovos said. One of those projects includes collecting outstanding advances made to employees.

The payroll anomaly dates back to Sept. 30, 1994, when the county adjusted employee pay cycles. The adjustment resulted in shortening one pay period from a 14 days to 12 days. Under normal circumstances, employees who worked the shortened pay cycle would have received less pay, but to avoid financial hardship, paychecks were increased to counteract any shortfall.

In all, Gwinnett County overpaid 509 people a total of $114,876.55 that week.

Since then, the county has collected the overpayment from employee paychecks at retirement. So far, it has recovered $75,186.09 from 329 employees.

Bovos said this measure will allow the county to clear an account it has been carrying for 16 years.

Current employees who received the overpayment have several options to pay back the advance. They can apply it toward vacation leave or a floating holiday, or they can make a cash payment.

Gwinnett County is in the middle of other initiatives to clear its books. Staff is reviewing contracts with state and federal agencies for reimbursements relating to transportation projects or grants.

Timely submission of invoices and subsequent reimbursement to the county improves cash flows, Bovos said.

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