Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately establish an extended illness leave bank for certain employees of the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health and convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 7 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4 O the following section:-
Section 4P. There shall be an extended illness leave bank for employees of the executive branch of the government of the commonwealth who participate therein. The secretary of administration and finance shall administer the bank and shall prescribe regulations governing its operation. Any employee of the executive branch who has completed one year of service may participate by donating to said bank any earned sick, personal or vacation leave time, in such amount and with such frequency as said regulations shall permit to maintain a sufficient balance in the bank, but not less frequently than annually. Upon medical verification pursuant to such regulations, a participating employee with an extended illness who has exhausted all other earned leave, who is not entitled to receive worker's compensation or other disability benefits, and who has been on leave because of such extended illness for not less than twenty consecutive work days, may obtain from said bank additional paid leave of not more than one hundred and twenty days in any two-year period. Said regulations shall provide safeguards against use of said bank by employees who have improperly used existing sick leave. The head of each state agency shall, not less than twice annually, provide written notice to each employee of the opportunity to participate in said bank. Upon receipt of the first such notice, each employee shall be required to sign a form issued by the agency indicating that such employee has been informed of the opportunity to participate in said bank.
Nothing contained herein shall affect existing collective bargaining agreements containing provisions relative to the establishment of extended illness leave banks.
SECTION 2. Section 4 of chapter 211B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1992 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "days", in line 34, the following words:- , except as provided herein.
SECTION 3. The sixth paragraph of said section 4 of said chapter 211B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the fourth sentence the following sentence:- The chief justice for administration and management is hereby authorized to establish and administer a paid sick leave bank for the benefit of the justices, which bank shall be comprised of vacation leave days, sick leave days and personal leave days accrued and donated by said justices.
SECTION 4. Within thirty days after the effective date of this act, the secretary of administration shall promulgate regulations governing the administration of and participation in the extended illness leave bank. Such regulations shall be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty A of the General Laws and a copy of such regulations, and any amendments thereto, shall be filed with the general court prior to their effective date. Said secretary shall file the proposed regulations with the clerk of the house of representatives, who shall refer such regulations to the joint committee on public service. Within thirty days after such referral, said joint committee on public service may hold a public hearing on the regulations and shall issue a report to said secretary. Said report shall contain any proposed changes to the regulations voted upon by the public service committee. Said secretary shall review said report and shall adopt final regulations as deemed appropriate in view of said report and shall file with the chairmen of said joint committee on public service its final regulations. If the final regulations do not contain the changes proposed by said joint committee on public service, said secretary shall send a letter to said joint committee accompanying the final regulations stating the reasons why such proposed changes were not adopted. Not later than thirty days after the filing of such letter and final regulations with said joint committee on public service, the secretary shall file the final regulations with the state secretary as provided in section five of said chapter thirty A and said regulations shall thereupon take effect.
If no such proposed changes to the regulations are made to the secretary within sixty days of the initial filing of the proposed regulations with the clerk of the house of representatives, the secretary may file the final regulations with the state secretary as provided in section five of said chapter thirty A and said regulations shall thereupon take effect.
Within thirty days after the adoption of said final regulations, the head of each state agency shall provide the first written notice to each employee thereof required by section four P of chapter seven of the General Laws. The secretary of administration shall administer the extended illness leave bank established by said section four P of said chapter seven within existing financial and staffing resources.
SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of section four P of chapter seven of the General Laws or the regulations required thereby, the secretary of administration may immediately, upon the effective date of this act and upon application, provide the additional paid leave provided by said section four P of said chapter seven to any otherwise eligible employee who has exhausted all earned leave; provided, however, that such employee shall donate the required leave time to participate in the bank at such later time, if any, as such employee earns sufficient leave time to do so.
SECTION 6. Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect any extended illness leave bank established for employees of the judicial branch.
This Bill having been returned by His Excellency the Governor with his objections thereto in writing (see Senate 1935) has been passed by the Senate, the objections of His Excellency the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding, two-thirds of the Senate (33 yeas to 5 nays) having agreed to the same.
Passed by the House of Representatives, notwithstanding the objections of His Excellency the Governor, two-thirds of the members present (117 yeas to 26 nays) having approved the same.