Some public works employees involved in a “sick out” and put on paid administrative leave last week are back at work, the president of a local advocacy group confirmed Wednesday.
Some of the 21 trash department employees put on leave had hearings with the Mobile County Personnel Board as late as Wednesday, but others have returned to work, Wesley Young said.
There are currently 12 employees picking up yard debris around the city, he said.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday morning.
Young said he felt the discipline was unnecessary because a supervisor gave the employees permission to be off that day and they came back to work following a Mobile City Council meeting. Others who were put on leave were legitimately sick, Young said.
The employees came to the council meeting to complain about continued harassment from within the department, Young said. The workers claim they’ve been disrespected while on the job.
Young said the employees are still waiting to hear about their fates, but he feels the discipline is a precursor to the city asking to contract out the pickup of yard debris.
While a contract of that nature is not currently in the works, or imminent, city spokesman George Talbot didn’t completely rule it out as a future option.
“We’ll look at all available options,” he said following Tuesday’s council meeting.
The council is weighing whether to investigate the employees’ claims.
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