PTO may replace sick leave for county employees

Staff reporter

Marion County Commission Chairman Randy Dallke would like to do away with sick leave for county employees.

In its place, he would like to give employees five or six days per year of personal time off.

Currently employees receive one sick day a month for a total of 12 days per year.

"There is no business that provides 12 days per year," Dallke said at the Dec. 31 meeting. "We don't want to be unfair but we've got to be fair to the public who's paying the wages."

He continued that sick leave is designed for short term and not be carried over to the next year.

"I agree with personal time off," commissioner Dan Holub said, and would rather see short-term disability be used by employees instead of sick leave.

"We need to control how it's used," Dallke said, and noted that two-thirds of the county departments had employees who used at least one sick day per month. "It just doesn't compute in my books . . . Do we need to halt 12 days of sick leave per year and look at a maximum of six days?"

Holub said allowances needed to be made for those who have earned it.

"There are those who abuse it and those who are banking it in case something happens," he said. "Short-term disability insurance would take care of those who need it for surgeries, etc."

Dallke said employees could draw their sick days as the policy allows but wanted to make changes to the employee handbook to halt the benefit.