Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Relating to the donation of sick leave by state employees.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1771 would add a new section to Chapter 661 of the Government Code concerning the donation of sick leave for state employees. Specifically, this legislation would allow a state employee to donate any amount of his or her accrued sick leave to another employee.
An employee would be eligible to receive sick days from a donor employee as long as both work in the same state agency and the receiving employee has already exhausted all sick leave.
The donor employee would not be allowed to receive payment or gift in exchange for the donation. Moreover, the employee receiving this type of donation would not be permitted to receive paid sick leave nor receive service credit in the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
The Senate committee did not make any changes to the House version of this bill.
Senate chamber sponsor: Kolkhorst
First chamber analysis:
State agency employees who become ill or must address family emergencies are allotted a certain amount of sick days for such matters. However, employees could easily exhaust those sick days depending on the severity of their illness or family emergency. Unfortunately, these employees have little recourse but to go back to work or risk losing their job because they have missed too many days.
HB 1771 would allow state employees to donate their sick days to fellow employees who have already exhausted the limits of their sick days. Donor employees would not be limited to the number of sick days they may donate. Likewise, employees receiving these donations would not be limited to the number of sick days they may receive.
As mentioned before, this legislation does not restrict the number of donated sick days an employee may receive because the author of the bill wants to provide flexibility for state agencies to accommodate the unique situations of each employee. Additionally, it is important to remember that if an employee chooses to abuse the generosity of his or her coworkers by exploiting the donated sick days, then that employee risks losing donations once others discover he or she is taking advantage of employees. Fortunately, such a scenario would be rare, but it shows that even without this law explicitly stating otherwise, there is an inherit policing mechanism amongst the employees.
This bill allows employees to be charitable towards each other while implementing necessary safeguards to protect against potential abuse. For these reasons, we stand neutral on SB 1771 since it does not affect our five liberty principles.