Auditor general: Illinois Department of Corrections workers abusing overtime
IDOC employees were paid for over a million hours of overtime in 2014.
Illinois Department of Corrections employees are abusing overtime hours, according to an April report by Illinois Auditor General William Holland.
The comprehensive financial audit of the department points out that staff have been taking paid leave and working overtime hours on the same day.
This practice, called “shift-swapping,” forces IDOC to pay other workers overtime to replace the worker on his original shift, then pay overtime hours when the first worker returns later in the day.
The audit cites IDOC’s training manual, which “requires [IDOC] to not consider employees on benefit time” to fill overtime shifts occurring the same day.
While the report admits that in some circumstances it may be necessary to call someone in during a staff shortage, IDOC has pointed out in a separate report that overtime usage has increased by 200 percent over the last 10 years.
IDOC employees have earned $320 million in overtime over the last five years alone, according to a Better Government Association investigation. The investigation also found that IDOC employees were paid for over a million hours of overtime in 2014 at a cost of nearly $50 million, while also racking up over 660,000 hours of compensatory time off at a cost of $22 million.
According to his 2016 budget proposal, Gov. Bruce Rauner is looking to hire an additional 473 staff to offset increasing reliance on overtime hours. But there’s a risk that overtime savings might be offset by increases in pension, health-care and other costs associated with increased hiring. Only time will tell if this strategy will be successful.