Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced changes to the city's leave policies, including scaling back the amount of unused vacation time employees can stockpile and instituting a uniform maternity policy.
Under the new vacation leave policy, non-union employees would only be allowed to carry over a maximum of five vacation days from one year to the next.
Several retiring city employees received large lump sum payments from unused vacation time when they left the city. When he resigned earlier this year, former Police Superintendent Jody Weis walked away with more than $76,000 for 64 unused vacation days, according to the administration.
Emanuel's administration hopes to scale back the amount of those pay outs, although it has not quantified how much the city may save.
Under the current policy, a long-term employee who retired at the end of 2012 could get paid for up to 75 days of vacation, the administration noted. Under the new policy that same employee would only be compensated for up to 50 days in 2012. Starting in 2013, that employee can receive only up to 30 days.
The maternity leave policy is meant to bring the city in line with the private sector, the administration said. Women will be able to receive four to six weeks paid leave after giving birth, adoptive parents will be eligible to receive two weeks, and partners and spouses will receive one week. The city of Chicago did not have a maternity leave policy for non-union employees.
“Implementing the City’s first maternity leave policy and reforming our vacation leave policies brings our City government into the 21st century, while increasing efficiency and reducing costs to the people of Chicago,” Emanuel said in a statement.
Emanuel's team will continue to review the city's administrative leave policy. It has already frozen the accrual of comp time.