Strategies to Positively Impact Sick Leave Usage Within the Fort Worth Fire Department [open pdf - 2MB]
"The Fort Worth Fire Department has provided sick leave in accordance with state civil service law since 1940. Chapter 143 of the State of Texas Local Government Code requires that municipalities provide firefighters with fifteen days annually of sick leave to be used for a bona fide injury or illness. Unused sick leave is accruable throughout an employee's career and is available for use as described by state law. Upon retirement, an employee is entitled to be paid for up to ninety days of unused sick leave and all accrued sick leave in excess of ninety days is calculated as years of service for retirement purposes. Outside of the legally required sell back, there are no other incentive programs nor is there an option to sell or convert sick leave hours in excess of ninety days to cash. This had resulted in the department experiencing high usage of sick leave hours by employees immediately prior to retirement. Additionally, there had been an increase in overall sick leave usage with an associated rise in overtime cost due to this usage. The purpose of this study was to analyze the Fort Worth Fire Department's sick leave use history, compare it to the average usage of similar fire departments and to identify strategies to reduce sick leave usage within the Fort Worth Fire Department. The evaluative research method was employed to conduct this study. Research questions that were to be answered by this study were: (1) What is the current sick leave use experience within the Fort Worth Fire Department? (2) How does Fort Worth's usage compare with similar departments? (3) What strategies are employed by other departments to reduce sick leave usage? (4) What strategies could be employed to reduce sick leave usage within the Fort Worth Fire Department?"
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/