DiNapoli: State Overtime Costs on the Rise

Overtime Costs Represent 3.6 Percent of State Payroll in 2012

From Comptroller’s Office

Overtime earnings at state agencies rose nearly 11 percent in 2012 to $529 million, escalating a trend that began in 2009, according to a report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“State agencies spent nearly $52 million more on overtime in 2012 than the year before for nearly 14.5 million hours of overtime,” DiNapoli said. “We found seven agencies with more than 25 percent of employees working overtime to meet their responsibilities. New York State policy requires limiting overtime to a minimum, and I urge all agencies to ensure that this expense is reduced whenever possible.”

DiNapoli’s report found three agencies – those that operate large institutional facilities – saw steep increases in 2012, accounting for 67.3 percent of overtime hours statewide: the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).

The number of overtime hours worked at OPWDD has increased sharply in recent years, while rising more moderately at DOCCS and falling slightly at OMH. OPWDD, which averaged seven overtime hours per employee per pay period in 2012, has seen a steady drop in staff, from 25,316 in 2008 to 22,672 last year.

Other agencies heavily reliant on overtime include Veterans’ Homes, which spent 10.5 percent of agency pay on overtime, State Police, which spent 6 percent on overtime, and the Department of Transportation, which spent 5.7 percent of agency pay on overtime.

Generally, state employees who are eligible for overtime compensation are paid at a rate of one-and-a-half times their regular pay. While total earnings for all state employees have declined in the past two years, overtime pay has continued to increase during that time. Overtime represented 3.6 percent of state agency payroll in 2012.

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