Monday, February 6, 2023
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School Staffers Overpaid for Six Years After Promotions Told to Repay District

'I work in the lunchroom. I only know about food and lunchroom duties; I don’t know anything about the payroll department...'

(John RansomHeadline USA) Two employees of a school district in Alabama are saying they’re being required to pay back years of small overpayments that the district made to them after promotions.

Last week, lunchroom manager Christie Payne posted a letter from the district asking her to pay back $23,000, either in a lump sum, in yearly annual payments, or as monthly payments, after the Chilton County Schools system discovered that it has overpaid her by about $300 every month since she was promoted to the position, according to local WVTM13.

The district warned that each month she delays making a repayment arrangement she will be charged $254 worth of interest for the money.

In a similar case, a person who went from being a nurse to becoming a teacher in the Chilton County Public School system said she received a letter asking her to repay $33,000 in overpayments, according to local WBRC6.

When asked to comment by the local station the school system refused, citing privacy laws.

The case went viral after Payne posted online the letter from the district superintendent, Jason Griffin, demanding repayment.

In the letter the superintendent claimed that the accounting department incorrectly computed the salary for the cafeteria worker, who previously was the assistant lunchroom manager, according to al.com.

“I called payroll when I received the letter. They acted like I did it,” Payne said.

“I work in the lunchroom,” she continued. “I only know about food and lunchroom duties; I don’t know anything about the payroll department.”

The Alabama Education Association, the union for teachers in the state, is representing the teacher in the case, but it’s unclear whether the lunchroom worker is pursuing any legal challenge.

The AEA has said that it’s reached out to other union members to see if similar letters had been delivered to others, said WBRC6.

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