Laid Off Employees Denied Payout of Unused Sick Time

Over 20 City of Turlock employees will officially be out of a job by July 1, 2009 and they’re not being sent off they way they would have hoped for.
 
Employees may have not used thousands of sick time hours, and in most cases would be able to cash it out for at least twenty-five percent.
 
As employees are figuring out who has bumping rights, last minute employment issues and such, some employees were figuring out their payment for accrued sick leave still on the books.
 
Unfortunately for all the employees receiving notice to be laid off, the City Council voted to not pay out employees for their unused sick time.
 
According to MOU language, employees are eligible to be paid twenty-five percent of their base salary for unused sick time, but only if they resign after four years, retires or dies. Being laid off is not specifically mentioned. It is mentioned if employees are terminated for cause that they are not eligible to receive the payment for unused sick time.
 
The fact that it does not mention being laid off, it could have been negotiated to pay out one hundred percent since the employees are losing their job.
 
Bargaining unit and city staff discussions could not make a judgment on this issue. The issue went to the Turlock City Council during the last closed session meeting.
 
The Turlock City Council voted to not offer payments for unused sick time to laid off employees. This expense was not budgeted nor was it mentioned during budget discussions.
 
 
 
TCEA MOU 5:06 Unused Sick Leave –
On November 1 of each year, employees having at least four years continuous employment with the City may, at their option, be paid at their base rate of pay for 50% of unused sick leave earned during the previous 12-month period. The remaining 50 percent of accrued but unused sick leave shall be retained in the employee’s current accumulated total of unused sick leave. If an employee resigns after four years, retires or dies while in City service, the employee or the employee’s beneficiary shall be paid at the base salary rate, for twenty-five percent (25%) of the employee’s total accumulated unused sick leave. Employees terminated for cause shall not be eligible to receive payment for accrued sick leave on the books at the time of their termination.


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