Letters to the Editor

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PAID LEAVE: Abuse is rampant

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on May 31, 2013 at 9:38 am with No Comments »
May 31, 2013 9:38 am

We have all heard about government employees drawing full pay while on administrative leave after it was determined that they were no longer capable of performing their prescribed duties – in some cases for a year or more. And while such leave might be justified in a small number of cases, the system is often abused, thanks in large part to the power of public employee unions. Two cases are glaring examples.

Lois Lerner, who was is in charge of the Internal Revenue Service, is now on paid administrative leave to the tune of a $170,000 yearly salary. She refused to answer questions about why the IRS had been targeting such a great percentage of conservative organizations by pleading the Fifth Amendment.

Then there is the case of Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Muslim who shouted “Allah akbar” and proceeded to slaughter 13 soldiers and wound 30 others at Fort Hood in November 2009. He has received his regular pay, which amounts to paid leave, to the extent of $278,000. That will come from taxpayers’ pockets, including members of the families of those he murdered.

Those are two high-profile examples, but nationwide – at every level of government – taxpayers are being squeezed to pay many thousands of people who are no longer fit or capable of doing their jobs, or are making a mockery of other paid-leave programs such a sick leave, family leave and maternity leave.

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