11/12/15 Paid Time-Off

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The typical private industry worker with five years of service gets 14 days of paid vacation each year.

At the Department of Homeland Security, nearly one-hundred are getting 365 days off.

Okay, it’s not officially paid vacation.  But that’s the net effect.

The Government Accountability Office examined more than 100 federal agencies regarding administrative leave policies.  Admin leave is paid time-off.  Reasons can include jury duty, inclement weather or other activities.

Paid time-off policies vary from agency to agency.  A major reason for extended administrative leave is investigations into misconduct, criminal matters or security concerns. 

Other reasons will have you shaking your head. 

The Air Force gives civilians up to three hours off each week to go to the gym.  Some agencies allow workers to conduct union activities as paid time-off.  The Interior Department charges vacation as admin leave for some employees.

The GAO found 57,000 federal workers were given between one month and three years of admin leave between 2011 and 2013.  At an estimated cost of more than three billion dollars.

26,000 employees at two-dozen of the biggest federal agencies averaged 51 days off. 

In a sample survey, agencies couldn’t give a reason why 5% of the workers were granted admin leave.
[**Updated November 20, 2015: At the Environmental Protection Agency, an employee was granted seven and a half months of administrative leave in order to serve a prison sentence for drug possession.  Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs cannot explain how more than 2,500 employees were given an entire month off with pay.]

It appears getting paid time-off at taxpayer expense is being abused.

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