FOX17: Nashville Spends $10M since 2020 Paying Thousands of Employees Who Weren’t Working 20_Fox17_absent_employees

March 15, 2024 02:46 PM



Why were these employees on paid leave?
The records for paid administrative leave that we received don’t say why each person was on leave, but it can be for a number of reasons, including for allegations of wrongdoing or as a disciplinary action.
Others could take leave for work-related training/a conference, as well as for medical reasons.
According to Metro civil service rules, paid administrative leave is limited to five days each year unless it’s extended by the “appointing authority” up to 20 working days when the employee has a disciplinary action pending. 
After the 20 days, the appointing authority can request another 25 days from the human resources director, explaining the justification for additional time. Any time needed over the 45-day limit needs approval from the civil service commission.
Based on how much people were paid, it looks like there were dozens of people on leave for pending disciplinary actions.
There are about 50 people who collected $10,000 or more since 2022. The average person collected almost $3,000 during that time period.

How does the spending break down by year?
Most years, the spending is right around $1.9 million — that was the amount spent in 2020, 2021 and 2023.
But 2022 cost $2.1 million, and so far this year, $1.6 million has already been spent, so it’s on pace to be the most expensive year yet.
The records show some people getting an entire year’s pay, like Health Department dental hygienist Rachel B. Harlow, who has a $42,000 salary according to Metro payroll records, but collected over $45,000 over five months last year.

Then assistant public defender Paul Randolph ($66,000 salary) collected almost $34,000 while on leave during the first quarter of last year. Three more public defenders, Jonnae T. Miller, Emily Smith Adams and Casey McGowan, collected over $19,000, almost $17,000 and over $1,000, respectively, at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024.
Finance manager Maria N. Caulder ($114,000 salary) took over $24,000 last year.
Juvenile Court warrant officer Christine M. McWhorter ($62,000 salary) collected over $20,000 last year in administrative leave pay.
Correctional officer Zinnia Miave Velez-Boado ($49,000 salary) collected over $20,000 in 2023.
Jaacalyn D. Davis, a program specialist in the Health Department, ($32,000 salary) got almost $18,000 at the end of 2023/beginning of 2024.
Correctional officer Timothy W. Baynham ($73,000 salary) took home almost $15,000 in administrative pay last year.
If taxpayers are paying $10 million to people not working, Metro should say why.


Back to news
Sign the Petition