May 23, 2018

Auditors: UConn Health payments violated state policy

UConn Health paid managers and other employees more than $246,000 over a two-year period -- lump sum payments that state auditors say contradicted state policy and union contracts.

The payments were related to compensatory time, which managers earn when they are required to work a significant number of extra hours. But managers must use the time earned during a year by the end of the next year, or they expire.

"In no event will compensatory time be used as the basis for additional compensation and shall not be paid as a lump sum at termination of employment," the Auditors of Public Accounts report says.

However, managers and employees in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 received payouts for 1,520 compensatory leave hours, totaling $76,461, the audit said. In addition, upon employment termination, managers and employees received payouts for 1,419 compensatory hours, totaling $86,947.

Finally, employees of two bargaining units received payouts at termination for 3,676 hours of compensatory time, totaling $83,368, when their contracts did not include provisions for such payments, the audit said.

For its part, UConn Health said it would change its practices, "except where this cannot be accomplished without adversely impacting patient safety and continuity of care."

"Where staff shortages related to patient safety and continuity of care necessitate compensatory time payout, management reserves discretion, subject to appropriate guidelines and corresponding documentation, to authorize compensatory time payout or extend the time period by which the compensatory time must be used," UConn Health wrote in the report.

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