MBTA’s King of Overtime Pay Approved Hours for Himself
The MBTA employee who amassed 2,600 hours of overtime pay in less than a year—the highest in the entire “regularly approved his own overtime reporting form,” according to ongoing audits at the transportation authority.
While the audits, performed by professional services giant KPMG, turned up nothing illegal, the State House News Service reports that several senior employees would regularly approve their own overtime documents. MBTA auditor Jim Logan told SHNS he found “a little bit of abuse of overtime here and there—not anything illegal.”
The employee, who worked in track maintenance, retired on January 31, “entirely of his own volition,” MBTA general counsel John Englander told SHNS. In December, MBTA chief administrator Brian Shortsleeve said the employee had earned $315,000 in 2015, thanks in part to the thousands of overtime hours he racked up.
“The process does not allow people to approve their own overtime, but one of the things the audit is looking at is the extent to which the process is being followed,” Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack told press after a meeting of the MBTA‘s Fiscal and Management Control Board. She added that audits revealed that some T workers were using forms with a supervisor’s name already printed on it, “which makes it difficult to ascertain whether there was an actual approval by that supervisor of that particular piece of work.”
Craig Hughes of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Works Local 264 dismissed the idea of workers approving their own overtime, telling reporters that biometric hand-scanners are used to keep track of when employees show up for work. These scanners are not in place everywhere, Englander noted.