Workers told to pay back salary raise by Florida county

County government officials in Florida are taking back pay raises from 25 government workers, saying the recent salary boosts were a mistake.

Officials in Manatee County tell My Fox Orlando that it wouldn’t be fair to ask taxpayers to pay for their goof, which totals some $12,000.

“The county is not trying to penalize any employees,” Manatee County spokesman Nick Azarra told the station Friday. “We are trying to better them. It has just got to be done the right away.”

The 25 Manatee employees started collecting bigger paychecks after completing some training under a new program and getting promotions.

The county now says the workers weren't entitled to the extra money because they didn’t meet all the requirements for a promotion.

The workers have been given two repayment options: cash in unused vacation time or have the money deducted from their paychecks.

My Fox Orlando spoke to one employee, tree-trimmer Donny Combs, who erroneously got a pay increase of 95 cents an hour. Now he owes the county $600.

“I definitely didn’t have it laying around, not this time of year,” he said.

Combs said he would be eligible for a pay raise if he completes one more class, which the county has yet to offer.