An audit of a small state economic development agency found management did not properly oversee employee sick time, resulting in the appearance that employees had an unlimited amount of paid time off.

The Capital City Economic Development Authority had certain economic development responsibilities in the Hartford area, but Gov. Dannel Malloy replaced it this year with the Capital Region Development Authority.

The audit for 2009 and 2010 found:

“Condition: We found that the Authority does not maintain a formal recordkeeping of used and accrued sick time. Therefore, sick time is recorded as regular pay.

Effect: Employees appear to have unlimited sick time usage as long as they return to work before the designated day that requires a written excuse from their health care provider.

Cause: The Authority policy grants sick time as needed. Under this policy, sick time is not accrued and sick time use is not limited as long as it is approved by the executive director.”

The agency responded to the Auditors of Public Accounts:

“While we might agree there may be the appearance of unlimited sick- time, sick-time usage does not go unaccounted for, either by the employee or CCEDA management. If an employee is unable to report to work due to illness or other medical reason, per policy, he or she is obligated to notify his/her supervisor no later than 8:00 a.m. that day. Every day the illness prevents a return to work, the employee is required to notify his/her supervisor. Our current policy (for employee illness and for family illness leave) requires a written excuse by an appropriate health care provider if an absence caused by illness exceeds three (3) days. Further, the employee accounts for sick days on his/her weekly time sheet, which is signed by the employee, the supervisor and the executive director.

Further, there are limitations on paid days permitted for illness. With employee illness, paid days for an excused absence cannot exceed thirty (30) consecutive days without special approval from the executive director (or the chairperson of the CCEDA Board) who consults with the Personnel Committee. With family illness leave, paid days for an excused absence cannot exceed five (5) days in a fiscal year without special approval from the executive director (or chairperson of the CCEDA Board) and the Personnel Committee.

CCEDA is a small organization and, with no sick-time bank, does not payout unused sick time to employees at the end of each year or upon termination. Further, it is important to note that there have been no instances of sick-time abuse. We are currently evaluating our policies on sick time.”