Some of our readers may have seen the recent story of a former Indiana sheriff who has been charged with multiple crimes for allegedly putting some of his subordinates to work on his car, home and rental properties while they were supposed to be doing their real jobs.
Because the sheriff and his employees were government employees on the payroll of Clark County, that, in itself, is illegal. Specifically, it involves the state’s Ghost Employment Rule. The former sheriff is also facing charges of corrupt business influence, obstruction of justice, theft and official misconduct.
The Ghost Employment Rule applies to government employees as well as employers
The rule reads, “A state officer, employee or special state appointee shall not engage in, or direct others to engage in, work other than the performance of official duties during working hours, except as permitted by general written agency, departmental or institutional policy or regulation.”
This means that a public employee who does something other than their job during their work hours (without appropriate authorization) is technically in violation of this rule. Certainly, taking time off for a dental appointment, with your boss’s permission, wouldn’t be a problem. If you’re supposed to be on a work-related errand and you spend the time at the movies or picking up a couple of rides as an Uber driver, that’s very different.
Are you accused of or required to engage in “ghost employment?”
If you’re a public employee whose boss is requiring them to violate the ghost employment rule, it’s important to speak up or go to someone else in authority so that you don’t put yourself in legal jeopardy. If you’ve been accused of violating the Ghost Employment Rule, it’s important to get legal guidance to protect your rights.