In a consent order signed by both sides Wednesday afternoon, Hill agrees to treat the employees, who a judge later ordered him to rehire, as civil service employees until the question of their protection is answered by a judge, Clayton County Attorney Don Comer said.
However, the agreement does not stipulate the rank and position at which the returning workers will be placed, Comer said.
And there is at least one other disagreement that remains.
Sheriff Hill said he considers the 27 employees AWOL for not returning to work Wednesday.
``They are violating the very civil service policy they think they are under,'' Hill said.
Hill fired the employees, mostly deputies and officers, on Jan. 3 — his first day in office. A judge later ordered Hill to reinstate the workers until the issue is sorted out by the courts. But instead of allowing them to return to work, Hill placed them on administrative leave with pay.
Then on Tuesday, Hill said he was concerned about the welfare of the workers' families and would allow them to return to work.
But Harlan Miller, the attorney representing the 27 workers, said the employees were not properly notified that they were due back at work.
``A deputy called my house (Tuesday) night at 7 to tell me my clients were to come back to work,'' Miller said.
``They deliberately belated telling me until after the end of the business day. There was no way for me to contact all those people that late in the evening.''
On Wednesday, Miller met with attorneys for the sheriff to ask them what he should tell the workers.
``They refused to say,'' Miller said. ``For some reason, they don't want to tell them that. I don't know what to do since (the workers) haven't been told where to go, when to go or what they'll be doing.''
Evan Kaine, Hill's attorney, said the workers were notified individually Tuesday night and would be treated like any other deputy who did not show up for work.
The Clayton County Commission says the workers were illegally fired.
But Hill had said the employees were not part of Clayton County's civil service merit system and can be fired at the sheriff's discretion.
In the meantime, Miller has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the 27 employees claiming the firings were racially and politically motivated. Hill has denied that and says the firings were part of a reorganization