Holiday pay policy changes for Wellington police

By Kelsey Leyva -

Holiday pay hang-ups and scheduling woes at the Wellington police department may be remedied at the start of the new year, at least for 2016.

At a village council meeting last Monday, elected reps unanimously passed a resolution temporarily revising the holiday scheduling program at the station.

Police chief Tim Barfield informed council in July of the issues he was having with complaints from part-timers over holiday pay.

Independence Day fell on a Saturday this year but the village observed the holiday one day earlier on July 3. Officers and dispatchers who worked on the actual July 4 holiday didn’t get time-and-a-half pay.

That prompted discussion of altering the police department’s practices to give all full-time employees their holidays at the beginning of the year and allow part-timers to get holiday pay on the actual legal holiday.

With passage of the resolution, full-time workers will now receive all 10 holidays at the beginning of the year similar to vacation time.

They can take the holidays whenever they want as long as they give at least 14 days notice and it’s not during the week of the Lorain County Fair.

“That’s our most labor-intensive week of the year,” Barfield said. “We don’t allow vacations or anything during fair week.”

Other stipulations include employees taking no more than four holidays in December and reimbursing the village if they take a holiday and leave the department before the actual holiday occurs.

All holiday time must be used in the same year and will not carry over.

As for the part-time employees, holiday pay will now occur on the actual day regardless of the day of the week it’s observed by the village.

“I think it’ll be a benefit,” Barfield said. “It gives the guys what they want.”

He plans to monitor the mandatory new program and report the pros and cons of the temporary policy to council for review on Nov. 7, 2016.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva