Senate Bill No. 330

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act authorizing the use of accumulated sick leave to purchase retirement service credit; and amending section 2-18-618, MCA."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 2-18-618, MCA, is amended to read:

"2-18-618.   Sick leave. (1) A permanent full-time employee earns sick leave credits from the first day of employment. For calculating sick leave credits, 2,080 hours (52 weeks x 40 hours) equals 1 year. Sick leave credits must be credited at the end of each pay period. Sick leave credits are earned at the rate of 12 working days for each year of service without restriction as to the number of working days that may be accumulated. Employees are not entitled to be paid sick leave until they have been continuously employed 90 days.

(2)  An employee may not accrue sick leave credits while in a leave-without-pay status.

(3)  Permanent part-time employees are entitled to prorated leave benefits if they have worked the qualifying period.

(4)  Full-time temporary and seasonal employees are entitled to sick leave benefits provided that they work the qualifying period.

(5) (a)  An employee who terminates employment with the agency is entitled to:

(i) a lump-sum payment equal to one-fourth of the pay attributed to the accumulated sick leave; and

(ii) use the remainder of the pay attributed to accumulated sick leave to purchase optional retirement service credit for which the member is eligible.

(b) The pay attributed to the accumulated sick leave must be computed on the basis of the employee's salary or wage at the time he the employee terminates his employment with the state, county, or city. Accrual of sick leave credits for calculating the lump-sum payment provided for in this subsection begins July 1, 1971. The payment is the responsibility of the agency in which the sick leave accrues. However, an employee does not forfeit any sick leave rights or benefits he had accrued prior to July 1, 1971. However, when an employee transfers between agencies within the same jurisdiction, he the employee is not entitled to a lump-sum payment or to purchase retirement credit. In a transfer between agencies, the receiving agency shall assume the liability for the accrued sick leave credits earned after July 1, 1971, and transferred with the employee.

(6)  An employee who receives a lump-sum payment or purchases retirement service credit pursuant to this section and who is again employed by any agency may not be credited with any sick leave for which the employee has previously been compensated.

(7)  Abuse of sick leave is cause for dismissal and forfeiture of the lump-sum payments and retirement service credit purchase option provided for in this section.

(8)  An employee may contribute any portion of his the employee's accumulated sick leave to a nonrefundable sick leave fund for state employees and becomes eligible to draw upon the fund if an extensive illness or accident exhausts his the employee's accumulated sick leave. The department of administration shall, in consultation with the state employee group benefits advisory council, provided for in 2-15-1016, administer the sick leave fund and adopt rules to implement this subsection.

(9)  A local government may establish and administer through local rule a sick leave fund into which its employees may contribute a portion of their accumulated sick leave."