PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - There are more problems with North Carolina's new food stamp program NC Fast.
Thousands of families were forced to wait months for food benefits that came late, or never at all. Then with the threat of federal punishment, the state had social services employees work around the clock to clear the backlog.
According to the Pender County Department of Human Resources, 13 employees are still waiting to get paid for a total of more than 1,500 hours of overtime. That translates to a total of $25,843.87.
One employee is still waiting to get paid for more than 400 hours of overtime they racked up, meaning that employee is waiting on more than $6,500.
Another employee is waiting to get paid for 346 hours and another for 338 hours, the numbers go down from there with one employee only having about an hour of overtime.
Department of Health and Human Services Director Carolyn Moser explained much of that overtime is a result of issues with the new NC Fast System.
County Manager Mickey Duvall said the Director of the Department of Social Services, Rita Shiver, reached out to the Board of Commissioners in September to ask that employees be paid for their overtime instead of taking the comp days.
Duvall says commissioners approved the plan, but County Attorney Carl "Trey" Woodrow Thurman III suggested they wait until they closed the budget for the previous year, and pay the employees with the leftover money.
Half a year later, employees say they have not been paid and have not been told when it will happen.
County officials say they estimate they will close last year's budget in March and once that happens they hope to be able to start paying the employees their overtime.
"I know, I can sense frustration, I totally understand but it's just the process that needs to happen especially as per the advice of the county attorney as to how we should peruse repayment for overtime," explained Moser.
Moser sent out a memo to Pender DSS staff Wednesday to explain that any contact with media must have prior approval. It goes on to state, "failure to comply with this directive will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal."
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