Deputy Cannot Accrue Vacation While On Disability

The collective bargaining agreement between Dutchess County, New York and the Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff’s Police Benevolent Association contains no provisions that specifically address the question of whether deputies on disability status continue to accrue vacation leave. When a deputy was absent for a number of months in 2004 due to an on-the-job injury, the County reduced his vacation accrual by a prorated amount reflecting the amount of time he was on disability status. The Association challenged the County’s decision in arbitration.

An arbitrator rejected the grievance, and held that deputies did not continue to accrue vacation leave while on disability status. Important in the Arbitrator’s mind was the fact that a clause in the contract did provide for certain additional benefits for employees who were on disability status – most particularly, the continuation of health insurance and contributions to a welfare fund established by the Association. Applying the contract principle of “the inclusion of one implies the exclusion of others,” or, in Latin, “expressio unius est exclusio alterius,” the Arbitrator reasoned that the continuation of certain benefits during disability status implied that other benefits such as vacation time were not intended to be continued.

Dutchess County Sheriff, New York, LAIG 6544 (Selchick, 2007).

This article appears in the January 2008 issue