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October 19, 2010

Re: Bill to Limit Sick Leave Pay/Vacation Carry-Forward Management Reform Advances

Dear Mayor:

Yesterday in Trenton, Chairman Lou Greenwald’s Assembly Budget Committee advanced companion bills (S-2220/
A-3392 and A-3211) that would limit future unused sick leave pay-outs and unused vacation carry-forward.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Paul Sarlo and Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Caroline Casagrande and Assemblyman Nelson Albano, amends current law to make applicable for all current and future officers and employees of boards of education and local governments the limit of $15,000 for the payment of supplemental compensation at retirement for accumulated unused sick leave, and the limit on the carrying forward of vacation leave for one year only.  Current officers and employees will be permitted to retain any supplemental compensation for unused sick leave (above the $15,000 limit), or to carry forward any vacation leave, already accrued as of the bill’s effective date. They could not, however, accumulate more vacation, and could only add to the current value of any accumulated unused sick leave, if the current accumulated value is less than $15,000.

The initiative, further, imposes limits on the use of sick leave by a State, local, or board of education employee in the twelve months before retirement. This provision applies to employees who commence employment with an individual employer on or after the bill’s effective date. Specifically, the bill prohibits the use of six or more consecutive days of accumulated sick leave, without medical necessity verified in writing by a physician, by an officer or employee in the twelve months prior to retirement in anticipation of that retirement.  The employer may require the officer or employee to submit to an examination by a physician selected by the employer to verify the medical necessity. The employer must (1) impose a fine and issue a reprimand against the officer or employee found to be in violation of this prohibition, with the fine to be an amount equivalent to one and one-half times the daily rate of compensation for each day of violation, or (2) for a subsequent violation of the prohibition, deduct a number of sick leave days equivalent to the number found to have been used in violation of this prohibition from the number of unused accumulated sick leave credited on the effective date of retirement upon which supplemental compensation, if any, for the officer or employee at the time of retirement is calculated, or (3) both.

The bill would not be construed to impair the obligation of a collective negotiations agreement or individual contract of employment with relevant provisions in effect on the bill’s effective date.

The bills are now positioned for final action in the Assembly. Please contact your Assembly representatives and urge them to support S-2220/A-3211/A-3392.

We salute the sponsors and Chairman Greenwald for advancing this important reform. If you have any questions, contact Lori Buckelew (ext. 112) or Jon Moran (ext. 121) at 609-695-3481.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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