Thursday, March 3, 2011
TDCJ admits in open records release, the overtime policy was never changed to incorporate call ins.
After weeks of asking for the information from the TDCJ media services division in vain, an open records request to TDCJ human resources answered our questions. TDCJ administrative directive 11.50 which covers the implementation of overtime within the agency, was never amended or changed to include the mandating of employees using their accrued sick time to work overtime. TDCJ director of public information Michelle Lyons was asked to provide a statement as to why TDCJ unit wardens all over the state were mandating employees to work overtime merely because they called in sick during their work week. We never received a response.
In a story we published last week, the Backgate noted several emails from TDCJ staff all over the state who claim they were singled out for overtime based on the fact that they called in a day during their work cycle. Some of those writing in are employees verified as being cancer patients, and others with documented chronic illnesses. They were mandated to work overtime based on the fact that they called in. After our story became public last week, several Texas Legislators were contacted and began weighing in on the practice. A few days ago TDCJ announced that employees would not be mandated based on their sick time status, and would be picked based on the original system of volunteers then mandatory based on card schedule and alphabetically.
But.. as a result of those units mandating overtime based on calling in sick, some employees refused and were charged with violating policy. Some were suspended, others faced only probation. So what will happen now that TDCJ has retracted the practice due to the legality of it ? Upcoming employee grievances will tell the tale. If you have been affected and would like to tell your story, comment or email us here !