Severance pay for the employees at the Pleasant View Rest Home will need to be brought before the State Board of Accounts before any formal action on the issue can be taken.
The request was made to the Commissioners by Larry Rausch at Monday night’s meeting. Commissioner Terry Young had mentioned the possibility of severance pay in a previous commissioners meeting. Rausch said the employees will be out of a job at the end of the month and will be searching for work that is creating a hardship for their families. He is concerned that some employees may not be able to draw unemployment as they may not qualify.
County Attorney Kevin Tankersley said this is new territory for the county as the government unit has not closed down a department.
“As a governmental entity, this isn’t our money to spend,” explained Tankersley. Although we may want to give this money to these people, we can’t give bonuses, to my knowledge, and you can’t pay for work that isn’t done. But, that is a question that should be addressed to the State Board of Accounts. How much, if any, severance are you allowed to give?”
Tankersley said severance can be offered as pay, continuation of benefits, health insurance, but that will need to be taken up by the State Board of Accounts.
The issue was previously discussed in executive session. Tankersley brought up the discussion during Monday night’s public meeting where there was a vote to give a lump sum, but that would need to be reviewed by the State Board of Accounts to make sure it’s legal for the county to do that. If it is, then the request would go before the Pulaski County Council.
The commissioners did not take action on the discussion. The matter will be brought before the State Board of Accounts by Tankersley.