McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Anna May Miller 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 in the 2017-2018 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 of employment credit for 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 11.94% (percentage of the year worked)
By law, she is entitled to 11.94% of her earned vacation time if she took it at the end of her employment, which she did not. She actually used two pay cycles prior to her leaving employment to submit vacation time credit that had not been earned for that year. This practice is known as putting the cart before the horse.
She had only earned 2.86 days of vacation, at a rate of $30.00 an hour, 2.86 days (22.88 work hrs), which equates to $686.40 actually earned.
Considering she walked out the door with $5,520.00 in vacation pay two weeks before actually departing, it appears Anna May Miller could have a problem, as could the bookkeeper and Bob Miller who approved the pay for his employees. For those that missed the article, this is the same person that went on vacation, yet payroll records did not reflect actually being docked from her pay while on their vacation cruise. That was covered in this article.
All indications point to her owing $4,833.60 back to the Township fund that these funds were taken from.
For all the reasons outlined, we believe Anna May Miller has been compensated for vacation time never earned and done so in violation of policy and in conflict with established law on such matters. This action is not isolated and appears to be yet another payroll game being played under the past Highway Commissioner Bob Miller.
Of additional concern is the fact these types of inappropriate and possibly illegal types of compensation have a direct impact on the IMRF benefits. Padding payroll increases long term retirement figures, of which the taxpayers are on the hook for.
We understand this and several other matters are in the hands of the State as part of a broader investigation that may or may not lead to any prosecution. Retirement benefits can be stripped from people who are convicted of a felony that was tied to actions taken from the public office for which such benefits were earned.
Annay May was paid $89,091.21 during her employment just for overtime, sick time, and vacation. While the local paper focused on the miscellaneous pay recieved by Anna May that totaled $34,040.00, it is evident they missed the bigger story of compensation never earned.
You can view the applicable payroll information by downloading it at this link or view below by scrolling through the three pages.