Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Commissioners limit benefits to only full-time employees

LEXINGTON—Beginning July 1, Dawson County employees who work less than 40 hours a week will lose their health insurance, sick leave and vacation benefits.

County commissioners voted during their regular bimonthly meeting on Feb. 1 to change a long-standing employee policy which offered full benefits to those who work 32 hours a week or more.

Cozad commissioner PJ Jacobson proposed the change.

“When we were discussing other areas of the employee policies, we found that anyone who works 32 hours is considered a full-time employee and receives full benefits,” Jacobson said.

With the cost of health insurance forever on the increase, commissioners decided it would be more financially responsible to limit insurance and paid time off benefits to 40-hour-week employees.

County clerk Karla Zlatkovsky said about 10 employees would be affected by the change.

Lexington commissioner Bill Stewart clarified that employees who are scheduled to work 40 hours but are not present for all 40 due to extenuating circumstances will not lose their benefits.

The change includes health insurance, sick leave, holiday pay and vacation time. Commissioners agreed those benefits will also no longer be pro-rated.

The board and elected officials are still working on changing employee policy to combine vacation time and sick leave into paid time off. They should have a proposal to consider at the March 1 meeting.

In other county business, commissioners:

received a department update from new roads superintendent Jon Mooberry which included the possibility of adding an employee, who could not only take over responsibilities of a sign technician but also serve as a construction inspector.

Mooberry said he is also working on compiling the one- and six-year road plan, which will be considered by the board in February. He was also given authorization to do road studies across the county.

heard an annual report for 2011 from Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) executive director Christina McIntire. She reported there were 33 CASA volunteers who provided 1,728 volunteer hours to serve 69 children last year.

reappointed Dave Stenberg to serve as an at-large representative on the Dawson Area Development board.

approved clerical changes to the 2012-13 operating funds grant application for Dawson County Transit.

accepted the resignation of Smith Hayes of Lincoln as the county’s dissemination agent and voted to use the Bank of Oklahoma instead. Andy Snyder of Smith Hayes told commissioners a new law prohibits an underwriter from also serving as disseminator and his company would like to continue as the county’s underwriter.