Judge hears ex-Putnam worker’s back pay case


First Posted: 4/10/2014

OTTAWA — Visiting Judge John T. Rohrs III said he would consider whether to give back pay to a former Putnam County worker during a court hearing in Putnam County Municipal Court on Thursday.

Patricia Clementz, of Cloverdale, filed the small claims case in Putnam County Municipal Court on March 7. In her filing, Clementz named the Putnam County commissioners as defendants, in care of county commissioner John Love.

Clementz is attempting to recover sick pay.

In a brief interview April 1, Clementz said she felt she should be able to recover sick pay from the county after she was discharged from her job Aug. 28. Clementz said she had worked as a maintenance custodian for the county since 1998. Clementz originally planned to give a statement after the court appearance today, but Thursday she said she must decline a statement until the judge reaches a decision.

Commissioner Love also said Thursday he was reserving any statements for after the judge’s decision.

Clementz requested a change in her job description and work duties based on certain disabilities determined by her physician. According to public records, the commissioners denied the request, stating she was unable to perform the essential job duties of her position.

On Sept. 10, Clementz signed an agreement with the commissioners office to be paid for her unpaid vacation time. The agreement also encouraged Clementz to apply for disability benefits before receiving unpaid sick leave. Commissioners later indicated verbally that Clementz should apply for disability before receiving sick leave pay, according to court records. Clementz accumulated $2,665 in sick pay before county commissioners stopped payment after learning she had not filed for disability.

Clementz is seeking another $1,917 in payment for unpaid sick leave.

Both Love and Clementz said a decision was expected from the judge in a week to 10 days.