NJ Lawmaker Urges Action On Sick Leave Payouts

Mar 30, 2017

Senator Jennifer Beck

A New Jersey lawmaker is calling on legislative leaders to move ahead with vacation and sick leave reforms.

Senator Jennifer Beck says New Jersey property owners have a nearly $2 billion property tax obligation hanging over their heads in terms of unused sick and vacation time accumulated by municipal and school employees.

She says some of those workers are retiring with half a million dollars or more in unused sick and vacation time.

"And then that municipality or school district has to pay it that year or try to negotiate with the employee to pay that obligation over a couple of years, but it is a big hit to property taxpayers that we have got to address."

Legislation Beck sponsored would cap those payouts at $15,000.

"That is the standard that state employees currently live by that's been in place for many decades. So, we have precedent within the public employee workplace for it, and it's makes a ton of sense. It will help to remedy what is a serious, serious issue for property taxpayers."

Beck says 15 different bills to limit payouts are awaiting legislative action.

“This is just the right thing to do. It’s a reform Democrats and Republicans need to get done. It’s not clear to me why it hasn’t moved forward, but it should.”

Public employee unions say it's a matter for collective bargaining, not legislation.