McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Bob Miller, the former Algonquin Township Road District Commissioner implemented a personnel policy in 2012. Contained in that policy is a laundry list of matters to write about but for this article, we will stick to the issue of the use of Vacation time and time earned.
On page 7 of the policy manual (page 11 of PDF), the policy states:
- "Vacation time may not be accumulated."
- "All accumulated leave credit will be voided at the end of each fiscal year."
- "Employees are restricted from utilizing their vacation time between November 15 and April 15."
Is there anyone that does not understand that policy? In short, no vacation time can be accumulated, unused vacation is voided at the end of the fiscal year, and it can't be taken between November 15 through April 15th.
Anna May Miller Vacation time taken in violation of the policy based on pay period:
- November 20, 2014 - December 3, 2014 - 32hrs vacation time - $960.00
- January 1, 2015 - January 14, 2015 - 6 hrs vacation time -$292.50
- November 19, 2015 - December 2, 2015 -15.50 hrs vacation time -$465.00
- December 3, 2015 - December 16, 2015 - 4 hrs vacation time - $120.00
- December 17, 2015 - December 30, 2015 - 4 hrs vacation time - $120.00
- March 24, 2016 - April 6, 2016 - 42.40 hrs vacation time - $1,270.00
- April 6, 2017 - April 19, 2017,* - 92 hrs vacation time - $2,760.00 *(24 hrs allowed by policy for 17th, 18th, and 19th, which were a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday)
So in a 2 1/2 year period, Ann May Miller, the wife of the former Road District Commissioner, took 171.90 hrs of vacation time in violation of the policy. There may be a few more hours actually taken in the restricted date range but until we have the rest of the vacation records we can't speak to those particular situations. You will notice on the pay records there is vacation taken in a pay cycle that overlaps both restricted time frame and unrestricted time frame.
Ok, no big deal, the policy wasn't followed and it was her vacation time.
Of more interest is that last two pay periods of Anna May Miller as it relates to her vacation time. Pay records show there were two pay periods where vacation was paid in the fiscal year 2017. The April 6th, 2017 pay period and April 20th, 2017 pay period, which is just weeks before her husband was out of a job. Those two pay periods reflect 92hrs vacation taken each time for a total of 184 hrs of paid vacation time, totaling $5,552.00.
Anna May began working at the Township Road District for her husband in August of 1998 according to records obtained from the Road District. August of 2013 is the fifteen-year mark putting her at an entitlement of four weeks vacation each year plus one day every January after the 15 years of service point, according to the policy. Had Anna May worked all of the fiscal year 2017, she would have been entitled to 4 weeks and 4 days of vacation, for a total of 192 hrs of vacation time. The policy provides a set number of vacation time based on years in service and clearly states vacation time cannot be accumulated and unused time is void at the end of the fiscal year.
Township Road District fiscal year is April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018.
Anna May Miller only worked 6 weeks that fiscal year. The policy is clear and states, "All accumulated leave credit will be voided at the end of each fiscal year". That means April 1, 2017, the clock begins for that year's vacation time.
Considering she only worked 6 weeks in that fiscal year and then departed, the law says she is only entitled to her "earned" 6 weeks worth of vacation time.
The Illinois Court of Appeals addressed this, as outlined in this Law Review:
"Lastly, the seventh circuit addressed the issue of vacation benefit forfeiture and stated that if a vacation policy exists under which employees earn vacation based upon length of service, employees must be paid, pro rata, for the amount of vacation earned as of the employee’s termination date. The court gave the following example: “if a full-time employee ceases work in the middle of the year, he receives vacation pay in proportion to how long he was worked that year.” In other words, if an employee works for half of a year, she must be paid half the value of vacation pay she would have earned working a full year. If the employee works 20% of the year, she must be paid 20% of the value of vacation pay she would have earned working a full year."
April 1st, 2017 to May 14, 2017, equates to 44 days in that fiscal year which is 6 weeks. There are 52 weeks in a year. Having worked 6 weeks, Anna May Miller earned vacation is prorated at 11.9444%(percentage of the year worked)
By law, she is entitled to 11.94% of her earned vacation time. At a rate of 24 days of vacation time that year,(4 weeks and 4 days), she is entitled to 11.94% of that time, or 2.86 days. At a rate of $30.00 an hour, 2.86 days (22.88 work hrs) equates to $686.40.
Considering she walked out the door with $5,520.00 in vacation pay it appears Anna May Miller has a problem, as does the bookkeeper, and Bob Miller who approves the pay for his employees.
All indications point to her owing $4,833.60 back to the Township Road District.
I suspect this is going to lead to additional legal bills for the recovery of these funds and many will attempt to blame the new Road Commissioner. While those who wish to cast blame on the new administration, we have one question to ask.
Why was no one bothered with Anna May Miller collecting $516,869.27 in salary and benefits in 5 years as an office worker?
Next article will cover additional compensation paid that was not allowed.