Feds Fine Scott County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office for Not Complying with Fair Labor Standards Act


The U.S. Department of Labor has fined the Scott County Sheriffs’ Department more than $12,000 for not properly paying employees, and that means taxpayers will have to pay up.

This, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released this week.

Scott County is in northeast Tennessee, near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.

“During audit fieldwork, the county’s finance director made us aware that the U.S. Department of Labor had investigated the county’s compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The investigation covered Sheriff’s Department employees for the period December 3, 2016 through December 2, 2018,” according to the audit.

“The investigation disclosed violations of the FLSA resulting from the failure to pay Sheriff’s Department employees the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked and/or the failure to pay statutory overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. These violations resulted in certain employees of the Sheriff’s Department being underpaid. The county’s Finance Department paid the affected employees a total of $59,769 in back wages on January 23, 2019. The investigation also resulted in a civil penalty of $12,486.80.”

The civil penalty, auditors went on to say, was assessed due to the current violations and what was referred to as a “history of prior violations.”

“The penalty was paid to the U.S. Department of Labor on April 26, 2019. This deficiency is the result of management’s failure to properly pay Sheriff’s Department employees in compliance with the FLSA,” the audit said.

Auditors also went on to say that that they are currently investigating various departments within Scott County — for unspecified reasons.

“Findings, if any, resulting from these investigations will be included in a subsequent report,” Comptrollers wrote.

This is not the first time recently that the feds penalized a Tennessee government entity.

As The Tennessee Star reported last month, Rockwood, Tennessee’s public utility officials didn’t file the proper Obamacare forms with the Internal Revenue Service on time, and now the utility must pay the feds more than $25,0000 in penalty costs.

As The Star previously reported:

• The IRS assessed nearly $400,000 in penalties and interests against the Maury County School Department.

• The IRS fined Jackson County officials a sum of $86,147 for failing to comply with Obamacare. That penalty money, of course, came from county taxpayers.

• The Grundy County School System had to pay more than $34,000 in penalties to the IRS for not complying with Obamacare.

• Hancock County officials did not remit two payroll tax deposits to the Internal Revenue Service, which caused an assessment of interest and penalties totaling more than $2,000.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Scott County, Tennessee Courthouse” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY 3.0.





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