Report: LA Department of Water and Power spent millions on extra sick days

Photo by Xavier de Jauréguiberry via Flickr Creative Commons

A report says the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spent tens of millions of dollars on extra sick days for its employees, and some workers may have abused the system.

The Los Angeles Times says the DWP officially grants 10 sick days a year but a policy twist permits workers to take virtually unlimited extra days. (Joseph Ramallo, DWP spokesman, told KPCC that the DWP grants five sick days a year, adding that employees may hold up to 10 days in a bank for use in a particular year.)

The Times says it found that 10 percent of the department's 10,000 workers took at least 10 extra days last year. More than 220 took an extra 20 days off.

Altogether, the DWP has paid workers $35.5 million in extra sick days since 2010.

However, DWP Executive Director Ron Nichols says the average worker only takes around 4 ½ sick days a year — about the national average.