City Of Memphis Considers Sick Leave Bank

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(Memphis) The city of Memphis is considering setting up a way to help city employees suffering from long-term illnesses. The plan would allow employees to share sick days with co-workers too ill to come to work.

A change in policy could come within the next year and some employees say it is long overdue.

The longer a city of Memphis employee works, the more sick days they earn. If they get sick a day or two, they're covered.

However, for those with long-term illnesses, like Memphis police officer Michael Bremner had, it can become a problem.

"He was an outstanding officer. Nothing negative in his record. He had given to this city and to this department. Chasing bad guys all over the place," said Michael Williams, who is with Memphis Police Association.

Cancer stopped all that.

Eventually his sick time ran out.

Officers wanted to donate some of their leave to him, but the policy wouldn't allow it.

Now, Chief Administrative Officer George Little says the city is considering setting up a sick leave bank similar to the one in state government.

He said, "Each year you had two or three days deducted from your balance and in return you had up to 90 days. The requirements are pretty strict, that you could pull out of the sick bank if you had a chronic or catastrophic situation," said Little.

Williams said, "I know of at least five officers that have cancer right now. They may have exhausted all of their sick time."

Williams says a sick leave bank is good, but doesn't go far enough. He also wants city employees to be able to donate sick hours directly to their co-workers, giving them additional time off.

Officer Bremner lost his battle with cancer, but this change would help other officers and employees in the future.

Williams said, "It would at least allow them to take care of their illness and also sustain their families."