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Unused sick days make nice parting gift for state workers

When Gov. Rick Scott's jobs czar quit in January only six months after taking the position, taxpayers bestowed him a parting gift.

Doug Darling, a 15-year public employee who rarely missed a day of work, walked out as head of the Department of Economic Opportunity and cashed in his unused sick and annual leave. The payout: $64,000.

The sum is not unusual for high and mid-level state workers, many of whom roll over years of sick and annual leave, then cash it out in a lump sum when they retire, are laid off or are fired. Darling declined to be interviewed for the article.

In the budget year that ended June 30, the state paid out $51.7 million in sick and annual leave to state workers, even as it slashed funds for higher education and public school maintenance. About 28,000 employees left the state during that period.

Read more here.

Comments

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Josiah Smith

Seriously, the governor fires thousands of public servants last year and now the fact that those that did not abuse the use of sick time were rewarded on the way out is news?

Anti-Tallahassee

How is it a gift? It's part of the contract. However, school administrators are usually limited in how much leave they can accumulate, and this should be enacted for state managers as well. All management, private and public,know how to game the system.

whasup

This is just part of the government employee racket. In fact, working for the government is one of the best investment plays one can make.

If you do the math, you can see that an employee working for the government (state and local) in Florida is supported by the work and income and taxes paid by about 8 people in the private sector.

Now, it's true the government employee pays taxes, too. But when you compare the taxes they pay to the pay they get, plus benes, plus pay-off windfalls when they leave; it's clear that their tax "investment" produces mega returns.

It's a good racket. And all they have to do is labor in what are typically (not always) easy jobs.

mark

It is not a gift if you earned it through accumulation and your looking at a top state worker not a teacher,corrections officer etc. This is a one sided article and shows very little merit unless your looking to bash all state workers ...really how about showing an honest picture. If you wanted to point out what one person took out that is fine but most state workers never see that type of accumulation nor do sit in such a high pay bracket. Yet within the rules he did earn it and it was not by slight of hand.

mark

Where is the article where my boss a few years ago built a brand new pool and had to lay off several workers to pay for it? Get a grip and stop making state workers look like the villain. The recession was caused by Republicans and all that money was stolen ...the country is bankrupt and ripe once again for the picking...and who will do the picking the same profiteers that just bankrupted the economy and took all the money...most teachers or other state workers earn what they have ...they are morally sound and just people...your looking the wrong way for a cherry pick!

mark

Brittany Davis you have no desire to write fact your slight of hand makes this article a true work of fiction...also when you leave early your retirement is cut short and a lot of people actually use the sick time money to shore up bad health ...or even in some cases terminal illness

Georgemichaellives

How on Earth can some of you justify this? These are taxpayer dollars. These people are paid a salary that they agreed to when taking the job. They get health benefits and a fully funded retirement. Nobody in the private sector "accumulates" sick days then gets a $50,000 check when they leave. Thats just ridiculous. Some of you need to get a grip and step into reality.

Spencer Thompson

Not all State workers have it that good, you say we are riping the tax payers off, well try living on 23,498 a year I am.

Anti-Tallahassee

Brittany Davis has supplied the state worker haters with a one sided view of benefits. This is just like the pension argument. The opponents (not a reporter as she tries to pretend) find an egregious example of abuse and then paint the whole system with a broad brush. The bad apples are inevitably the high up and well connected who are overpaid anyway. However, it is the rank and file middle class, or lower paid, who suffer the consequences of the bad publicity. The high up and well connected always find a way to get theirs.

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