Ashwaubenon overtime/double-time pay policy changed
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – Following revisions made last year to the Public Safety Department’s organizational structure, which now includes a shift captain, the Ashwaubenon village board agreed last month to amend the overtime/double-time pay policy in the personnel handbook.
Village Manager Joel Gregozeski said the change involves non-union officers.
“It also tackles, to some extent, our exempt-level staff that may or may not be eligible for overtime or double-time pay,” he said. “In a review of this, it was identified that, again, as a cleanup effort, when the Public Safety Department instituted the captain position in late 2020, there were a few provisions within the handbook that needed to be updated.”
Gregozeski said the captain position was previously not identified in the handbook to make it eligible, in theory, for holiday pay.
“We wanted to make sure that our public safety captain positions are provided the same benefits as it relates to holiday pay that the lieutenants were receiving under the prior (organizational) structure,” he said.
Gregozeski said the policy also needed to indicate overtime may be required at times as a condition of employment.
“We do have occasions where we need people to come in under certain emergency situations that may require them to work overtime, or for special events or other activities like Packer games,” he said.
Gregozeski said the amendment also states overtime requires prior authorization from an employee’s supervisor.
“We did not have any provision within that section that creates that control to ensure that supervisors provide that authorization, so that any employee, non-exempt employee, couldn’t come into work and say, ‘Well, I’m going to work overtime this week,’” he said. “No, it needs some type of authorization from your supervisor first.”
Gregozeski said full-time exempt employees, who are expected to work a minimum core of weekly hours, often must put in additional hours for meetings, events, activities, programming or job-specific emergencies.
“For those exempt employees, we wanted to ensure that they understand that they do have some flexibility in their schedule to provide some type of work-life balance,” he said.
Gregozeski said Parks, Recreation and Forestry personnel, for example, have been doing that, but the policy change will codify the practice in the handbook.
He said Public Safety Department captains and lieutenants receive overtime benefits if they work “extraordinary events,” such as Green Bay Packers or NCAA football games, but the public works operations supervisor has not been provided this benefit.
The amendment provides overtime to the operations supervisor similar to public safety supervisors.
“Our public works operations supervisor works 10-plus hours on any given game day, in order to set up, provide supervision and oversight for his staff that are also working that event,” Gregozeski said. “It’s a pretty extraordinary occurrence for that position – one that no other community in the State of Wisconsin enjoys because they don’t have a professional football team.”
Depending on the hours worked related to Packers games, which could involve preseason and postseason games, he said the increased overtime costs for the public works operations supervisor will be approximately $6,000 to $7,000 annually.