Richmond Co. firefighters say their overtime pay is overdue

Richmond County firefighters say their overtime pay is overdue. (WRDW-TV)

Richmond County firefighters say their overtime pay is overdue. (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Some Richmond County firefighters say they haven't gotten paid for overtime hours they worked several weeks ago.

The wife of one firefighter says she was afraid to go on camera, but says, "When he found out it wasn't on his paycheck, they said to wait and see if it was on the next paycheck, and then we did, and it's still not there."

And her husband isn't alone. Some have been waiting for overtime pay since Nov. 16.

We asked her, "What is your frustration with all of this?"

She said, "My frustration is my husband works overtime because we need the money, not because we can wait until the next one or the next one -- we have kids, bills, we're like any other family."

So we took their concerns straight to the source.

Chief Chris James says the delay is thanks to the city's holiday payroll process, saying, "All payroll for last year had to be turned in by Dec. 19."

So any hours worked after that had to be posted later. But firefighters and their families say it's been a month now, so where's the cash?

"Bills get behind. He works overtime to make extra money to pay the bills," she said.

City Administrator Fred Russell explained, "Because of the holidays, we turn our payroll in a little bit early, apparently these ladies and gentlemen worked after the payroll was turned in."

"We will continue to have this issue as long as we have to submit it before the pay cycle ends," Chief James said.

But there is a solution going forward for the fire department, James says, "We have to definitely inform them of what the situation is."

We've been told all of the firefighters should get their overdue overtime the next pay period, and if any other city employees have the same issue after this pay period, they can give the finance department a call.

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