Ensuring City Sick Leave Policies Aren’t Abused
NORTHEAST, Miss. (WCBI)- Whether you’re working outside or in an office, all West Point employees earn sick leave. But like everything in city government, making sure employees are using it fairly requires constant attention.
“The original policy, we wanted to know 3 days ahead of time if you were going to have some kind of medical procedure so that we can make arrangements with other employees to cover your absence. In the few instances there’s been abuse, we had slight modifications to the policy and if you notify us this morning that you’re not going to be here today then we’re going to ask you for that doctor’s excuse. And the result of that is we don’t have very much abuse of the system,” said West Point Chief Administrative Officer Randy Jones.
Jones says abusing sick days can have a ripple effect.
“There are certain operations that require a crew, preparing a sewer line or water line or electrical line or some sort and it does affect us if we can’t have our full crew there. And it’s not so much for the job being done, it’s for the safety aspect of it,” said Jones.
Policies also differ wherever you work.
“Everything from street department to park and recreation to trash, sanitation, electric and water employees, it’s the same 8 hour policy. Once you take off 3 days consecutive days, you must present a doctors excuse,” said Aberdeen City Comptroller Karen Crump.
Last year, the city of Aberdeen paid $51,758 in sick hours for their employees. City officials say it’s important to monitor it carefully.
” You are actually paying out money for a person being sick. It’s an expense to the city. You have to budget for salaries and naturally you have to give into account people are not always going to be able to work their hours. But at the same time, you’re going to have to pay them, so you need to be able to control that,” said Crump.
Immediate family death or long term illnesses can change the amount of sick days you receive. Both West Point and Aberdeen city officials tell us employees also gain their sick days back during retirement.