Since 2005, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has paid roughly $6 million in overtime towho aren’t entitled to it, according to a report from Inspector General Tom Charles.
Charles found the department allowed exempt managers to choose between paid overtime or comp time for extra hours worked. The policy predates current ODOT director James Beasley’s administration.
Beasley defended the payments by pointing out that its managers make less than managers in comparable private-sector jobs. Still, he said Gov. Ted Strickland asked him to stop the overtime payments.
ODOT has 60 days to bring its overtime practices into compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“While I believe that our employees should be fairly compensated for their work and dedication, I also recognize the immense need for this department to be a better steward of the public dollar,” Beasley said. “Times are changing and ODOT is changing.”
The inspector general is not seeking any repayments from managers who received the extra wages.