Brickbats

Brickbat: That's Sick

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Warren, Rhode Island, Police Detective Michael Clancy has retired after more than 33 years on the force. He spent the last 22 of those years on paid sick leave. State law requires firefighters and police officers who are sick or injured must receive their full pay and benefits. Clancy claims a staph infection back in 1998 left him disabled. The state retirement board did not grant him a disability retirement because it was not convinced his injuries were work-related, so Clancy remained on sick leave for over two decades.

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  1. By union contract, the now-former detective is also eligible to collect $79,650 in unused sick and vacation time, according to town records.
    Unused?

    1. Good eye. That seems contradictory. Maybe “sick leave” wasn’t the right moniker.

      Dude was fully on the payroll for 22 years without going to work. Got raises, full benefits, even a clothing allowance. Really an odd case. And because it is a small department, he personally accounted for 1/22 of the personnel budget, which is pretty impressive, seeing as he accounted for zero work.

      Although…now that I think about it, I have worked with some people who used up a big chunk of the budget and didn’t manage to contribute, so maybe this isn’t that unusual or awful. I mean, having some of those folks I’m thinking about simply stay at home would have really helped us be more productive. It actually is possible for someone to have a net negative productivity.

    2. Probably the vacation time the poor guy never got to use.
      How awful to have to be employed 22 years and never get to use a vacation day!

      1. It breaks my heart to hear of such tragic circumstances.

      2. Use it or lose it. Many places require you to take your vacation days or you lose them. That this guy gets to safe his up and not use them is the real tragedy here. I was forced to use mine up over Christmas break instead of July. Not fair!

        1. Most governments cap vacation days but not sick days. It is a reason many government employees don’t take sick days.

  2. I used to hear about welfare queens. This guy is more like a welfare emperor.

  3. And this is one of those prime examples of how businesses are more efficient than governments. Year one of stock leave that it’s never going to end a business would have worked out a way to pay this guy off to leave or let him retire early to at least lower their payouts.

    1. At least send out an investigator to spy on him and see if he showed any indication of actually being sick enough to be unable to work the way an insurance company would if there were some hint a fraudulent claim were being made.

      1. You couldn’t possibly expect a *police* department to go out and investigate a case of fraud. There are speeders, expired registrations, and minor drug possession crimes to go after.

    2. If that were me, they’d make me burn my two weeks of paid vacation, one week of paid sick time, then go on six months of unpaid family medical leave, then they’d terminate me and hire someone else. Disability insurance would kick in from there. Was this guy collecting disability too?

      1. Was this guy collecting disability too?

        Chances are he was working another job.

    3. My last two companies put you on short term disability if you’re out sick for more than five days. Seems harsh, but at what point does one get the right to leech off their employer when they’re not showing up to work? The short term disability sucks, but it’s better than having to take a leave of absence. I was in that situation and took my unused vacation days instead.

      Businesses want to be generous, but they are not endless founds of entitlement cash. The problem with unions, especially public sector unions like this fucktard cop was with, is that they teach their members to think of everything like an entitlement.

      I bet he spent those 22 years telling himself that it was his god given right to that paycheck. The police force should care for its members that were hurt on the job, but a staph infection is not an injury. Maybe he can’t walk his beat anymore, but his brain is still good (if he ever had one) so he could have gotten a new job doing something else where he didn’t need to walk a beat. Jeepers Cripes on a stick, that giant asteroid can’t hit us soon enough.

      1. Unless he had something amputated a staph infection isn’t a disability, period.

        FFS, a staph infection is not subtle – you would have to really, really, work hard to ignore it long enough to leave any lasting damage. And that would still mostly be cosmetic.

        My brother recently had one on his shin as a complication from a spider bite. Nasty looking. He works as a cement pumper. Took a whole one day off. But then again, he’s not on salary.

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  4. Bernie Sanders is taking notes.

  5. What could he do? It’s the law.

    1. Well, that’s the whole question isn’t it? The guy was injured in 1998 and filed his case in 2001, the latest court document I could find was from April of 2018 where an appeals court had declined to issue a summary judgement on behalf of the city and declared that the case must go forward. As far as I can tell, after nearly 20 years of working on this case, the courts still have not ruled on what the law is. And now that the cop has actually taken regular retirement, I’m guessing the whole thing will be mooted and while the wheels of justice ground exceeding slow, in the end they ground so exceedingly fine there was nothing at all left at the end.

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  7. For all the military’s fucktardery, at least they would never have tolerated this asshole’s bullshit. After a few months of him insisting he wasn’t fit for duty, they would have sent him before the medical board and chaptered his ass out.

    1. Under Bernie, the military will def unionize.

    2. That’s not been my experience (Navy). I’ve seen junior enlisted spend 2-3 years on med-hold for conditions that are chronic and untreatable. I’ve seen them be *allowed to reenlist*.

      But they’re also under treatment the whole time (even if the treatment is ‘doctor’s consult once a month’). The Navy does seem to try to do what it can before it throws you at the VA health care system.

  8. From that short article, this sounds like it’s on the city/state, not the guy.

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