Gwinnett County Workers Asked To Repay Bonsuses, 16 Years Later

Aaron Bovos, Gwinnett County's chief financial officer, angered a lot of Georgia employees earlier this week when he initiated a project to "clean up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations," by asking 180 employees to return bonuses that were overpaid back in September of 1994. Isn't there a statute of limitations for asking for a gift back?

According to reports from Bovos, his office is attempting to "better manage assets and resources, including collecting outstanding advances made to employees."

A Glitch In The System

In September of 1994 a new employee pay cycle was instituted in Gwinnett County where there was a shortening of one pay period from 14 to 12 days. The purpose of the shortened pay cycle was to ensure that those employees working reduced hours would receive less pay, but to counteract what might have been a bad financial shortfall for employees back in 1994, paychecks were increased, leading to the overpayment of 509 county employees to the tune of $114,876.55.

Why did this generous act of bonus benevolence on the part of the county become a hot button issue all of sudden? Bovos said that the county has been carrying this past due account for 16 years and that it needed to be settled. Since he initiated work on collecting these over payments, 329 employees have already seen the overpayment debts taken out of their paychecks at retirement.

Current employees who still need to return the money have various options for paying back this debt. They can apply it towards vacation leave or a floating holiday or they can make a cash payment on their own.

Next up on Bovos' reconciliation list: state and federal agencies that worked on transportation projects and grants with the county.

Maybe Uncle Sam is not as generous as government employees once thought, but struggling to keep his finances in order like so many other Americans.

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