Jefferson County considers layoff alternative

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission has some potentially good news for the 207 County workers who are in danger of becoming laid off. The Commission is considering the option of placing employees on administrative leave, instead.

The administrative leave would last for 30 days without pay and would allow for workers to keep their insurance. Workers would have to pay for 14% of the insurance costs and the County would pay for 86%.

Jefferson County Attorney Jeff Sewell says the County has the authority to place employees on administrative leave and he feels this might be a better alternative to layoffs.

Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says that the County HR Director has been authorized to place workers on leave. She also says that the County could put classified workers on leave as well, but does not feel the financial situation is far enough along for that.

Collins says that this will be a relief since workers will get to keep their insurance and will not lose any seniority. If the workers were laid off, they would be subject to repeating the entire hiring process if they were to return to work.