The City of Fort Worth mistakenly paid $54,000 in overtime to 74 employees in 2017 and early 2018, according to an audit. And now the city says it has no choice but to ask for the money back.
"We like to think it's an honest mistake," said city council member Cary Moon, chair of the audit committee. "This is kind of why we look at these things, to find the misplaced dollars and to correct the process."
State law requires the city to collect the overpayments, he said.
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In the worst example, an employee owes about $6,000, Moon said. The average per worker is $729.
The audit found payroll software used by the city paid employees for hours they were scheduled to work – whether they actually worked or not. In some cases, workers switched from five-day weeks to four-day weeks and were still paid for the fifth day. Supervisors did not catch the errors.
The review covered from January 2017 to March 2018.
The workers affected are scattered among 10 departments, the audit said.
Moon said the city would work with employees individually on a plan to repay the money.
The audit is ongoing and may find more improper payments before the final version is released in several weeks.
This isn’t the first time Fort Worth has had to ask employees to refund over-payments.
In June 2017, the city sued two retired firefighters to recover $92,000 in benefits that the city had improperly calculated.