PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — More than 800 city employees get extra vacation time under a Management Leave program put into place 12 years ago.
Employees who are eligible are non-union workers who are not eligible for overtime pay. That’s why the policy was put into place, city officials said.
“The mayor thinks it’s a terrific idea,” his spokesperson Dana Haynes said. “These are people with accounting degrees, law degrees, people who could probably be making more money out there in the private sector.”
The thousands of hours of Management Leave add up to just under $2 million.
Anna Kanwit, the Human Resources director for the City of Portland, said the program was put in as a way to reward salaried employees — who aren’t entitled to overtime pay or bonuses — for exemplary performance.
“It is based on performance, so not necessarily just the fact that you may have worked 60 hours one week,” she said.
HR rules say bureau directors can award up to 80 hours of Management Leave per year. In 2013, almost 45,000 hours were awarded.
Topping the list, with more than 8,000 hours awarded, was the Portland Water Bureau. Next is a division at the Office of Management and Finance, the Bureau of Environmental Services and city attorneys.
“It is incumbent upon bureau directors to ensure that when Management Leave is awarded it fits within our HR and administrative rules,” Kanwit said. “That kind of sets up the parameters of it.”
The HR department rules require written justification for Management Leave, she said. But she doesn’t second-guess other bureau directors when they award it.
“It is their decision and their accountability,” she said.