East Tennessee Human Resources Agency under investigation

East Tennessee Human Resources Agency under investigation after paycheck complaints

Posted:
The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency after a former employee said ETHRA took overtime hours from her paycheck The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency after a former employee said ETHRA took overtime hours from her paycheck
"Most days there was no break, and if you couldn't grab a burger or a drink to have in the bus while you were driving down the road, you got nothing," said Buffy Andies. "Most days there was no break, and if you couldn't grab a burger or a drink to have in the bus while you were driving down the road, you got nothing," said Buffy Andies.
The executive director of ETHRA doesn't believe they've done anything wrong intentionally. The executive director of ETHRA doesn't believe they've done anything wrong intentionally.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency after a former employee said ETHRA took overtime hours from her paycheck, causing her to lose money over the last year of her employment.

The executive director of ETHRA doesn't believe they've done anything wrong intentionally.

Buffy Andies drove an ETHRA bus for almost three years, and when she found another job in July, that's when she decided to file the complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.

"It got to where it was every pay day my checks were being short," said Andies.

Andies says she didn't report the problems any sooner because she was scared of losing her job.

"I couldn't go without a job, but to know that they were taking my money week after week after week with no explanation, I was furious," said Andies.

Andies provided 6 News with paperwork detailing her interview with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Andies says ETHRA managers told her hours were taken out of her paycheck because she was required to take a lunch.

"Most days there was no break, and if you couldn't grab a burger or a drink to have in the bus while you were driving down the road, you got nothing," said Andies.

She says when someone didn't show up or canceled for a ride, she wouldn't get paid to drive from one location to the next.

"If you worked any overtime, you weren't getting it. They were taking it," said Andies.

According to ETHRA Executive Director Gary Holiway, the US Department of Labor investigation is not agency-wide. He says only a small group is being investigated.

Holiway says "ETHRA is cooperating fully with the investigation because if there is an issue we want it corrected." He says he is "unaware of anything being done incorrectly" and says "nothing has been done wrong intentionally."

Andies says she made the complaint so no other employees lose their hard earned money.

"As long as somebody else's pay is safe, and those hours that they continue to put in, that's the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing," said Andies.

ETHRA Director Gary Holiway says when the investigation is complete, he will answer all our questions and discuss whatever the outcome is. He says he has advised the policy council of the investigation.

According to Holiway, the U.S. Department of Labor investigator met with employees last Thursday. He does not believe any mistakes have been made but is meeting all labor department requests to make sure employees are being treated fairly.

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