Williamsburg County department under investigation over employee pay

Williamsburg County department under investigation over employee pay

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Williamsburg County department is now under an internal investigation for an alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

Williamsburg County Supervisor Tiffany Wright said the South Carolina Labor Licensing and Regulations Department and the U.S Department of Labor received complaints for the department a little over a month ago.

Although she says she can’t reveal the name of department because of the investigation, the complaints suggest workers weren’t being paid for certain hours they worked.

Wright says she interviewed employees about the complaints and based on her initial assessment, the complaints prompted the internal investigation.

“Several complaints were made that employees weren’t being paid for the hours that they were working,” said Wright. “Their timesheet would suggest one thing, but they would actually worked more than their timesheet said they would have worked.”

The U.S. Department of Labor gave the county the opportunity to correct the issues they have and make corrections to the current procedures within that department.

Through the Payroll Audit Independent Determination program (PAID), the county can carry out a self-audit of the agency that is being cited for the violation.

Wright says the county is investigating to determine if any back pay is due to the employees.

The complaints date back to 2017 and if proven right, the county would owe about two years of back pay to an estimated 35 to 40 employees.

A rough estimate suggests that the county could owe about a million dollars to those employees.

That would further add to the County’s budget problems.

“We would have until the next pay period to pay them all of their back wages,” said Wright. “I have asked for an extension obviously because of the current situation the county’s going through with the cash flow but I’ve not been granted that.”

Wright says she is putting procedures in place to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

She says employees in this department will have to sign off on their own timesheets and all employees will have to be paid for all the hours they work, including overtime.

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