Champaign County Owes Employees More Than $1 Million In Unused Vacation Time
By Sari Lesk and Robert Holly
Despite a change in policy more than 10 years ago, Champaign County employees have accumulated tens of thousands of hours in unused vacation time. The impact to taxpayers could be more than $1.5 million.
Records show that Champaign County workers have saved up more than 62,000 hours of unused vacation – even after a 2003 change to limit unused time.
The county must pay employees for unused vacation time when they retire or leave their jobs in one lump sum at their current salary rate.
As of the last fiscal year, the county owes an estimated $1.6 million dollars for that time, according to reports.
This does not include unpaid hours for nursing home employees, which could push the total owed higher.
The county employs about 1,000 people.
County records show that dozens of the highest paid employees have accumulated more than 500 vacation hours.
Champaign County Administrator Deb Busey says once employees hired before the 2003 change have all retired, the total amount owed for unused vacation time should decrease.