19 Freeborn County layoff notices to be rescinded

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Layoff notices were expected to be rescinded for 19 Freeborn County employees Tuesday afternoon who had received a notice earlier this month that their jobs were going to be affected by the state government shutdown.

Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever said all of the employees in the Public Health Department will be keeping their jobs after clarifications and rulings by the state’s special master have been made in the last week and a half since the notices were sent out. Many of the programs have federal funding ties.

Kluever said the notices sent out to 12 employees in the Human Services Department, however, will remain in effect. They become effective at the end of the day Friday if no state solution has been reached.

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This includes staff at the Crime Victims Crisis Center, two staff in the options program, one employee with child protection, four social workers and one case aid worker.

The county continues to collect information day by day as new rulings are made and clarifications are made about the shutdown.

County officials have been trying to get a better feel for what if any delays in funding may be taking place and what potential risks there are that the state may not reimburse the county for certain services provided during the shutdown.

The state shutdown has been in place since July 1, after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to reach a budget agreement before the deadline.

Kluever said two programs within the Public Health Department will also continue to be influx until the shutdown is resolved.

The first involves home visits for people on the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

He said those home visits dollars are not being paid, but because the county has an opening in that position — with Public Health Director Sue Yost being promoted — he is recommending the county continue with the hiring process but not actually fill the position until the shutdown is over.

The Child/Teen Checkup program is the second program, and this historically brings in more revenue than expenses and will be re-evaluated in August.

The Public Health Department is also anticipating a resignation in the department at the end of the month.

Though some layoff notices are still moving forward, Kluever said he is relieved some of the notices will be rescinded.

“It weighs heavily on your mind,” he said. “You’re trying to do what’s in the best interest of the county, but at the same time you’re dealing with human beings, too.”

There has been no word about a decision regarding child care assistance.