Friday, January 9, 2009

Santa Reed (cont'd)...

According to page 3 of Attorney Sciotti's letter, he advised Supervisor Reed "notify Ms. Fairbrother in writing of her entitlement and request that she calculate any and all overtime monies she believes are due and owing her to date keeping in mind the discussion we had with her about weekly hours 35-40." We have FOILed that letter and it is supposed to be made available to us by today according to the town clerk's office.

We have already obtained a copy of Ms. Fairbrother's "calculated" overtime for the years 2002 through 2007. Here, in her own handwriting, is a a copy of the calculations Ms. Fairbrother submitted.

Looking at the hours Ms. Fairbrother "calculates" she has worked overtime, two things jump out at us:
(1) Ms. Fairbrother's "calculated" hours increased substantially between 2002 and 2007.
(2) overtime is supposed to be paid at time and one half; however, Ms. Fairbrother's calculations use her regular hourly rate for compensation she believes is due her and she was paid the amount of her calculations $71,544.81; not the time and a half that the labor law states overtime is to be paid.
If one assumes that Ms. Fairbrother is eligible for at least 2 weeks vacation, that would leave approximately 50 weeks a year that would normally be worked by Ms. Fairbrother. In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, Ms. Fairbrother claims that the overtime hours worked totalled 485.14, 489.08, 494.45 and 520.45 respectively. Using 50 work weeks a year, according to Ms. Fairbrother's calculations, she would have averaged 10 hours overtime each week, each of those years.

The Town of New Hartford work week consists of 7 hour days; 5 days a week for a total of 35 hours a week. Using the average of ten (10) hours per week, that would equate to a day and a half overtime needed each and every week for Ms. Fairbrother to complete her job duties.

Some might say that you can't use averages, but even at the average of 10 hours of overtime a week...that is difficult to do consistently for 4 years in a row. If the overtime hours occurred over less than 50 weeks per year; say half the time each year or 26 weeks; that would mean that she worked on average 20 extra hours a week for 26 weeks each year. That seems unlikely by any standard.

What kind of work was Ms. Fairbrother doing that required her to work that many hours extra on average every week? Was she working at home or coming into work on Saturdays? Who was supervising her overtime work?

We have FOILed Ms. Fairbrother's original timesheets and the town clerk has informed us that they are now available for review in her office.

Here is a link to Part 1 if you haven't already read it. Don't miss part 3!

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