Sunday, April 27, 2014

California racking up huge debt for employees' stored leave

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
California paid more than a quarter of a billion dollars last year alone to compensate departing and retiring state workers for vacation and other leave time saved during their careers, and one public employee topped the list with a $488,000 check.

Data show that 24,000 state employees are banking vacation time while exceeding a state cap on such mass accumulation of benefits, according to a 2013 report by the Legislative Analyst's Office. That's a 140 percent increase from 2005.

And the state's bill is sure to grow, too. The most recent calculation, done in 2012, showed the state owing its employees $3.9 billion in unused leave pay. There are no estimates of what that unfunded liability is today.

The state's cap on banked vacation leave for an employee in most departments is 640 hours, which is considered generous compared with the private sector and other state governments. But managers complain that the cap is hard to enforce because public employees aren't penalized when they exceed the limit.
As you can guess, when government workers get paid that much : someone has to "bend down" and take it hard. Here's the official state income tax rates from California's website. Can you say 9.3% and you aren't even wealthy?
For earnings between $49,774.00 and $254,250, you'll pay 9.30% plus $2,191.48