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Audit Committee wants to know more about state employee sick leave abuses

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Audit Committee wants to know more about state employee sick leave abuses
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Legislature's Audit Committee wants to know more about who's abusing the state employees' sick leave system, and why.

The panel held a hearing Thursday, after learning that the average state worker takes 65 hours a sick leave per year.

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That's a week and a-half. Panel co-chairman Sen. Jim Sullivan, D-Wauwatosa, says he hasn't used that much sick leave in his whole working life.

Sullivan says that if employees are lying to the boss to get more time off with pay, they should be disciplined.

A recent audit found that overtime for state employees rose 15 percent in the last three years.

Fifty-nine workers got at least $100,000 in overtime alone during that period. Most were in health and corrections' operations that run 24-7.

Prison workers use 63 percent more sick leave than other state employees.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently that found that some guards called in sick, only to work the very next shift for another sick worker and getting time-and-a-half for eight hours and sick pay for another eight.

Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Randall, said private sector workers don't get that kind of a deal.

Rep Joe Parisi, D-Madison, says a review is needed but legislators should not jump to fast conclusions. He says a prison guard is one of the most stressful jobs there is.

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