Unlimited vacation day payouts for government employees?

San Juan County has, until now, maintained a policy of unlimited payouts for unused vacation days of its employees. Needless to say, this could get expensive for the taxpayers. Thankfully, some in the County are looking to change the policy. We decided to lend our support with the following letter to the Farmington Daily-Times.

The proposal by San Juan County to abandon unlimited payouts for
unused vacation time is a “no-brainer.” Obviously, the budgetary
impact of such policies is the most significant issue, with employees
having accrued $1.2 million in unused vacation time. Payouts could
have significant, negative impacts on taxpayers.

Such payouts of unpaid vacation time are nearly unheard of in the
private sector, making them unfair to the workers who actually pay the
bills for government. Since the intent of employers providing
vacations for their employees was to help recharge and energize
workers, such unlimited payout policies defeat the purpose of vacation
leave in the first place. This makes unused vacation time yet another
generous benefit to government workers who already receive retirement
and health care benefits far superior to those in the private sector.

San Juan County’s leaders should be applauded for considering this
issue and should be encouraged to take action by ending this unwise