Injured Officer Not Entitled To Pay For Vacation Hours

A police officer working for the Township of Upper Providence, Pennsylvania was injured on duty for the second half of 2007. As a result, the officer was unable to use 212 hours of vacation time he had available in 2007. The officer requested that he cash out for the unused vacation time. When the Township rejected the officer’s request, the officer’s labor organization, Lodge 27 of the Fraternal Order of Police, challenged the rejection in arbitration.

An arbitrator upheld the Township’s position. The Arbitrator noted that under a consistent past practice, the Township followed a “use it or lose it” vacation policy. The Arbitrator concluded that the past practice “suggests officers recognize the Township does not pay for leave not used by December 31 of each year.”

Finally, the Arbitrator found the contract contained no exception to the general “use it or lose it” principle for injured officers.

Township of Upper Providence, LAIG 6742 (Loewenberg, 2009).

This article appears in the September 2009 issue