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CONTACT 13: Taxpayers charged for unused sick time

Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 23:44:41-04

For most of us, sick leave is use it or lose it. Often it's the same as vacation days so having both as separate paid time off is a luxury. But not if you're a county worker. Contact 13 has new data about how your tax dollars are being spent.

County government employees get a perk you pay for that can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, two county staffers were paid out more than $250,000 -- effectively a bonus for showing up for work.  

Don Burnette retired from his position as county manager at the end of 2016. According to TransparentNevada.com, his total pay and benefits from last year add up to $816,946. $264,328 was for some of the sick days he didn't use since 1990.

But Burnette wasn't the highest. That went to outgoing Director of Development Services Ron Lynn, who cashed in a $281,296 unused sick time leave payout.

Clark County employees, like many government workers, can bank sick time over their entire careers. County employees are entitled to half of those unused sick days and the payout is determined by what salary they were making at the time of retirement.  

That's on top of their pension. Burnette will collect a $211,000 annual pension for the rest of his life.

As for the other top county employees who cashed in on unused sick days, more than $1 million combined went to just six staffers. And more than 100 employees will get over $10,000. 

According to Clark County, the banking of unused sick time policy was put into place about 20 years ago under collective bargaining contracts.