Friday, May 16, 2008

The Federal Sick Leave Policy Is Making ME Sick!

Call me a hardass, but I'm not a big fan of sick leave in the workplace. I understand the NEED for it - I just happen to think that 75 percent of the time when someone calls in sick, they really COULD tough it out at the office if they wanted to, OR they're just taking the day off. Having said that, imagine my response when I read this in the Washington Post about how my tax dollars are being spent by "sick" federal workers.

At the Internal Revenue Service, one employee over a two-year period took sick leave on 13 of the 14 Tuesdays after a Monday holiday.

That's an extreme case of sick-leave abuse, but the IRS employee had plenty of co-workers who also liked to take Tuesdays off, a report by the Inspector General for Tax Administration found.
For weeks that had a holiday falling on a Monday, 27 percent of all sick leave at the IRS was taken on a Tuesday in 2005 and 2006, the report said. And 24 percent of all sick leave taken by IRS employees during non-holiday weeks was on a Monday.

You can read the entire article here, but it goes on to tell us that the federal government loses billions of dollars a year in lost productivity because of bogus sick leave. At the IRS alone, workers call in sick an AVERAGE of 11 days a year. So how does Congress plan to fix the problem? Bribe the workers to show up for their jobs! Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (perhaps my favorite interviewee of all time, by the way) is pushing a bill that would reward retiring federal workers who don't abuse their sick leave with a lump sum bonus of up to 10,000 dollars upon retirement. Moran says this will save the government millions, and I suppose he's right, but DAMN... If everyone in my (former) office called in sick 11 days a year, there'd have been a lot more people getting fired!

How do I get one of those federal jobs?

No comments: