January 31st , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Wage and hour law may stall recycling incentives

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School, county, and city employees may not want to hold their breath waiting for their recycling bonus money.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
County Mayor Leon Humphrey said he was surprised the recycling incentive program was approved as quickly and as overwhelmingly by the County Commission. Humphrey added that the program would put the county at risk by taking money from the landfill, which may need to be replaced with funds from the general fund.

Legal review by county attorney Keith Bowers raises the possibility the county’s recycling incentive program conflicts with some of Tennessee’s wage laws.

“(County Technical Assistance Services) is very concerned about potential audit issues,” Bowers said, during his report to the County Commission on Jan. 22. “And the state auditor is not giving us a lot of help on this program.”

County Mayor Leon Humphrey commended Bowers’ decision to delay the plan’s institution.

Photo by Brandon Hicks County Commissioner Joel Street, who created the recycling incentive program, said that he researched the program’s potential legal issues before presenting it to the County Commission.

“There are so many issues raised with this program, it’s understandable that he didn’t want to address it,” Humphrey said. “I’m surprised the (Landfill) Committee accepted it on face value and more so that the entire commission did.”

The recycling incentive program, which was approved by the County Commission during its Nov. 19 meeting, would give city and county employees a share of revenues earned by the county through the sale of recycled materials. County Commission and Landfill Committee Chairman Joel Street, who, along with Landfill Director Benny Lyons, created the incentive program, said that he researched potential legal issues before submitting it to the committee.

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