Poll: Use Them or Lose Them — What’s the Best Policy for Sick Day Payouts?

NJ Spotlight | April 6, 2017 | Polling
Does it make sense for some public employees to get a big bonus at retirement when they cash in unused sick days and vacation time?

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If every county, municipal, and school employee were to retire today, taxpayers would have to shell out $1.9 billion to compensate them for sick days, vacation time, and other leave they did not use while on the job. In some cases, particularly those of police and fire chiefs, these payments can run into the six figures and even reach $500,000.

This tab is in addition to public workers’ annual retirement benefits, and for the most part is far more generous than anything available in the private sector.

Efforts by Republican legislators to end or cap these payouts and NJ Spotlight’s calculation for the first time of the total bill have rekindled the debate on the policy of paying public workers for unused days on retirement.