Letters to the Editor

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PAID LEAVE: Time for change

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on Dec. 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm | 11 Comments »
December 28, 2010 4:42 pm

In addition to eliminating the double dipping loophole which is costing taxpayers millions, when the Legislature convenes next month another action that could help reduce spending in these difficult times would be a reform of the paid administrative leave policy.

When law enforcement officers are involved in a situations in which they have to use their weapons, they are usually always placed on paid administrative leave until the details of the situation have been sorted out, and that is completely understandable. However, when public employees are removed from their jobs because they fail to do their work, pose a danger to others or have been charged with a crime, extended paid leave can become an abusive drain on public funds.

Some situations drag on for many months or even years, and all of the time taxpayers are paying not only the people on leave but those who are replacing them. So, how could the problem be solved?

If situations are so bad that employees have to be removed from their jobs, paid leave should be limited to two months with the understanding that if in the future it is determined that they were wrongfully removed they would be entitled to what they would have received.

Maybe it could only happen in New York City, but today I learned that a teacher there has been on paid administrative leave for 13 years.

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