Judge: County wrong to take back $130K it overpaid jailers
RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A judge says Benton County was wrong to automatically deduct money from 85 jail officers’ paychecks who were overpaid three years ago.
The Tri-City Herald reports Benton County Superior Court Judge Sam Swanberg ruled this week that the county can’t just take the $130,000 back from the employees without first negotiating with their union.
Swanberg upheld a March 2018 decision by the Public Employee Relations Commission that Benton County must refund the money it deducted from paychecks — with interest — and negotiate repayment terms with the union.
Barring an appeal, Swanberg’s ruling ends a battle over Benton County’s attempts to recover money it accidentally paid to jail workers in 2016 because of a computer software error.
County officials declined to comment.
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com