How can employees work 40 hours in a 24-hour day? If they work for an unaccountable, government-funded program, of course!
Timesheets for employees of Amtrak are riddled with abuse, according to a recent audit report, with cases of workers claiming over 40 hours of work in a single day. The audit released by Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) Thursday found examples of abuse in the overtime system, which totaled nearly $200 million in overtime pay last year.
“[Calendar Year] CY 2014 timesheet data revealed trends and patterns that indicate potential fraud, waste, and abuse in the reporting of overtime and regular time,” the audit said. “Some of these trends and patterns may be justified because of the complexity of union agreement rules, the nature of jobs, and the functions employees perform.”
…“Employees reported 1,357 days in which they worked more than 24 regular and overtime hours,” the OIG said. “Ten employees reported working at least 40 hours in a day.” Of those 10 employees, a serving attendant in the Café Car, who earns an average of $23 an hour, recorded 47.95 hours in one day, 31.01 of which were recorded as overtime.
Numerous employees also claimed to work 20-hour days. There were 1,891 timesheets that recorded a range of 22 to 24 hours in a single day, and 7,145 that listed between 20 and 22 hours in one day.
“Potential fraud, waste and abuse.” You think?? Some may wonder how this kind of scam operation is even possible under the watchful eye of Amtrak’s management.
… Amtrak’s payroll system itself is complicated. “The company uses six timekeeping systems to process timesheets and calculate wage payments,” according to the OIG, as well as 179 “unique timekeeping absence and attendance codes.”
Amtrak paid roughly 19,300 employees $1.2 billion in 2014, including $199 million in overtime pay. Labor costs account for 29 percent of Amtrak’s annual expenses.
There has to be a better way. Someone please privatize Amtrak, already.