jamie ethridge

Walker Chief of Operations Jamie Etheridge, right, explains changes requested in the vacation and sick leave policies of the city. At left are City Councilman Gary Griffin and City Attorney Bobby King.

WALKER – The Walker City Council approved changes in the city vacation and sick policies to be competitive in hiring employees, increasing the number of hours for some employees.

“We hired some employees in the last year and some of the feedback we got was we were not competitive with neighboring towns, villages,” said Jamie Etheridge, chief of operations.

In the first two years of employment, an employee could only accrue 40 hours of vacation leave, he said.

“We’re asking for 80 hours to be available to new hires in their first two years,” Etheridge said.

Changes were also made for employees in the 3-4 years and 5-9 years categories, he said. Vacation leave and sick leave also will begin accruing on the first day of employment under the amended policy.

Another change is supervisors can approve employees using vacation or sick leave in their first six months on the job. It also requires the chief of operations’ approval.

Mayor Jimmy Watson said under the previous policy, an employee in their first six months on the job could not take leave unless it was without pay.

“This will be an incentive to get people here without costing the city,” Watson said.

Unused vacation leave will be paid out when an employee leaves the city up to the maximum allowable carryover based on years of service. Unused sick leave will not be paid out when an employee leaves. 

Vacation hours may be carried over annually until the employee’s next anniversary date. The mayor must approve additional carryover of hours.

Any hours the mayor allows to be carried over above the maximum allowed must be used with the first six months after an employee’s anniversary date.

Sick leave hours may be carried over annually until the employee’s next anniversary date. Sick leave may be accumulated and carried forward to the next fiscal year with an unlimited number of hours, according to the policy.

There is no cap on the amount of sick leave that can be carried over.

A supervisor may require a doctor’s excuse for any sick leave taken, depending on the employee’s documented past use of sick leave, the policy says.

A doctor’s excuse should shall be required for three or more consecutive days of sick leave.

Annual leave and sick leave based on years of service will be:

0-2 years: 80 hours.

3-4 years: 120 hours.

5-9 years: 140 hours.

10-19 years: 160 years.

20-29 years: 200 hours.

30-plus years: 240 hours.

The maximum hours of annual leave that can be carried over to the next year will be:

0-2 years: 40.

3-4 years: 60.

5-9 years: 80.

10-19 years: 100.

20-29 years: 120.

30-plus years: 140.

 

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