Marion County to review personnel policies

Marion County to review personnel policies

January 28th, 2012 by Ryan Lewis/Correspondent in News

Marion County Mayor John Graham stands in front of the Marion County Courthouse.

Marion County Mayor John Graham stands in front...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

JASPER, Tenn. -- Even though some of Marion County's personnel policy has been revised, county commissioners said other issues need to be addressed so they can approve all the changes at once.

Commission Chairman Les Price said this week that the board could adopt the so-far-recommended policy changes now and then could go back and make further adjustments.

"I think the best thing to do would be to go ahead and adopt [the policy recommended by the personnel policy committee], then we can act on any changes that we feel may need to be made," County Mayor John Graham said.

However, the board voted unanimously to send the personnel policy back to the committee for further discussion about some of the commissioners' other concerns.

In November, revisions were suggested that included language on bereavement pay and the rules concerning holiday pay, officials said, but questions also arose about how county employees complete their timesheets each week.

Personnel Policy Committee Chairman Marshall Raines said the committee made the needed changes for bereavement and holiday pay, but other issues were not discussed.

"Our recommendation was to accept [these revisions]," he said. "We discussed it before, and I didn't feel like it was worth going through the expense of calling another meeting for just one item."

Commissioner Tommy Thompson said he has been approached by some county employees who expressed concerns about signing their timesheets on Thursdays, stating that they have worked the next day before they really work it.

"It's falsifying a document," he said. "That's exactly it."

Most businesses hold paychecks for "a week or two" to avoid that problem, Thompson said.

Graham said the timesheet issue was not "a critical problem" and that dilemmas with the current process only happen "two or three times a year at most."

"I understand that some of the commissioners are concerned about that process, but I don't think it's that dire," he said. "I don't see any need to change the way it works now."

Commissioner Louin Campbell suggested "grandfathering" current employees under the current timesheet signing rules, while future employees would have their paychecks held back for a week.

That only would complicate the matter, Graham said.

"It seems simple, but it does get a little difficult having two pay periods like that," he said. "As the years go on, it would get more difficult. There are some solutions to it that I would recommend. We need to get together and look at that."

"It seems like maybe we need to revisit this and just work this whole deal at one time," Price said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at