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St. Croix County program helps family of critically ill baby

The St. Croix County Finance Committee received and approved the first request for use of a new policy that allows county employees to donate unused paid time off (PTO) to co-workers.

The policy was adopted by the County Board last March in response to workers asking to give some of their time to jailer David Dykes, whose infant son had a malignant tumor removed and was treated with chemotherapy.

Dykes has now made a request and will be allowed to tap the PTO pool as fellow workers offer to donate time to him. (For updates on the condition of Connor Dykes, go to

A second request, from a deputy injured on the job, was denied because his condition is not "life-threatening" and therefore does not meet the standard for PTO contributions.

Human Resource Administrator Tammy Funk suggested the policy be opened up to workers with "serious" illnesses or injuries, not just to those who are facing or have a spouse or child who is facing a "life-threatening" illness or injury.

She said other employers are more liberal with such policies, and added, "I've never seen it abused."

Committee members and other staff replied that this is the county's first experience with PTO donations and the County Board is taking a conservative approach.

The county policy allows fellow workers to donate unused PTO in increments of two hours. Each employee can donate up to 12 hours a year and must specify who may use their donation.

The identity of donors and number of hours donated is to be kept private. Once given, hours will not be returned to the donating employee.