City denies sick time donations to cop fighting cancer
Waco Police Association President Ken Reeves said he wants the city to look at the officers, and all their employees, as "more than just money"
By PoliceOne Staff
WACO, Texas — Officers who wanted to donate their sick days to a colleague fighting breast cancer were denied by the city.
Officer Nicki Stone, 34, is missing work due to a double mastectomy and chemotherapy sessions, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Stone, a single mother of two, used up the 480 hours granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act and is currently on short-term disability. The short-term disability allows her to draw 75 percent of her pay.
The city cited a longstanding policy against practices of sick time donations. The officers were also denied when they offered to donate time to a police detective missing work due to his 7-year-old daughter’s cancer battle.
City Manager Dale Fisseler told the publication that the city offered to grant the officers additional sick time, but the officers would have to use up all the other time off they’ve earned first.
“We don’t have a policy that allows that because you earn your own sick leave. If you donate yours to everyone and then you need it, then you can have a problem,” Fisseler said. “Right off the bat, if you get the city to pay for more by donating it to others, it is going to have a negative impact on the city’s costs.”
Waco Police Association President Ken Reeves said he wants the city to look at the officers, and all their employees, as “more than just money.”
“We aren’t even talking about that much money,” he said. “The officers have already earned that money in terms of benefits. It is their money, and they should be able to use that money in any way they want to, especially if it is to help someone sick or dying. The city’s best commodity is its employees, and taking care of them ought to be paramount.”
Officers have taken over Stone’s shift for the month, some of them pulling double shifts, to allow her to draw a salary, the publication reported. Stone hopes to be back at work mid-August. However in the detective’s situation, officers cannot pick up his caseload.