In an economy that gets tighter and tighter each and every year, with no end in sight, it seems like fewer and fewer companies are giving out yearly bonuses anymore. And the companies that still are, seem to be continuously reducing what “they say” they are able to distribute amongst employees. There is a debate: are bonuses a right or a privilege? In different cases both are true. Some people have bonuses built into their pay structure while others have bonuses that are given as a ‘true’ bonus at the end of the year as a Holiday/Christmas bonus. Commonly now, even end of the year bonuses, which are truly customary, and by no means obligatory for companies, have become an expectation by millions of employees worldwide.
So what about those bonuses that are not required, but companies just give them out because they want to. That’s what happened to 180 employees in Gwinnett County, Georgia. They were given bonuses but ‘after the fact’ county officials decided the bonuses were overpaid. The county’s chief financial officer, Aaron Bovos said a project was started to, “clean up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations”……….What the hell does that mean? The county actually wanted to collect back $39,000 in bonuses it paid to 180 employees. County officials blamed it on a payroll anomaly when the county adjusted employees’ payroll cycles. If distributed equally, do the math, that’s $216 dollars per person. Not thousands of dollars each, but still a lot of money, hell, it’s a car payment.
Employees were told they could apply the money to vacation leave or make a cash payment……..So here’s my thinking, I’d go tell the County of Gwinnett to pound sand, or more accurately to, kiss my a—!!! And that’s what I feel any and all of the 180 employees should tell them. But the county asking for these people to return these bonuses is not the real kicker here…….let me lay that part of it on you now. This ‘payroll anomaly’ did not occur on last years payroll, not even on the payroll from two, five, nor even 10 years ago. How about 16 years ago! The GREAT county of Gwinnett, Georgia is asking 180 employees to return a bonus they received in 1994. Are you kidding me? If I were the county’s CFO, Aaron Bovos I’d be embarrassed and ashamed to even ‘think’ about the “clean up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations” project. To top off the already ridiculous, I’m sure the county paid someone $40,000 for one year’s salary to uncover this huge clerical mistake.
Question for all you Gwinnett County executives: are any of you the slightest bit embarrassed and ashamed that YOUR county is asking for money back that it GAVE away years and years and years ago, when Bill Clinton was still in the first part of his first term in office? (Wow, that really puts it into perspective).
The moral of the story: If you currently serve in some “official” capacity for the County of Gwinnett, Georgia, save your bonuses, someday they’re gonna want them back.
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