Effects of the Furlough Program on the Use of Overtime

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, in the face of large budget deficits, one cost cutting strategy of the City of Chicago has been to require a portion of the City’s workforce to take unpaid time off (this strategy is commonly known as furloughs). Our review revealed that the furlough program has not resulted in a widespread increase in overtime worked Citywide.

Another part of the City’s furlough cost cutting strategy has required employees to accept compensatory time instead of direct payment for overtime worked. The major effect of the substitution of compensatory time for direct pay overtime is to postpone payouts for overtime, whether in the form of payments or in paid time off, to future years.  Since this provision was implemented, there has been a 144 percent increase, 201,000 hours, in the total compensatory time balance citywide, which represents an estimated liability of $7.51 million that will need to be paid for in the next several years.

Below is supporting documentation for the report.
  • 2005 thru 2010 Year End Compensatory Time Balances by Department (xls, csv)
  • 2005 thru 2010 Year End Compensatory Time Balances by Department and Job Title (xls, csv)
  • 2007 thru 2010 Overtime and Compensatory Time Use by Department and Job Title for DGS, Fleet, Streets and San, CDOT, Aviation, and Water (xls, csv)