LAS VEGAS — Taxpayers in Nevada's two largest counties owe nearly $610 million to public employees who haven't used their paid sick and vacation time, according to financial reports.
Governments in Clark and Washoe counties have paid $215 million to departing employees for their time off entitlements over the past five years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week.
Many public employees in the state can build up their unused sick and vacation hours and cash them out when they retire. Government departments have sometimes delayed hiring replacement employees to recoup the costs because some do not budget for the payments.
“It can be sticker shock, depending on who retires,” said Thom Reilly, chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education and a former Clark County manager. “If it's not budgeted and you're paying it out, you have to make up the cost somewhere.”
The amount owed to public employees has grown by 26 percent over the last decade, and it doesn't account for other compensation from employee benefits.