Withholding payment for accrued leave credits upon separation ruled permitted under the faithless servant doctrine
Bolin v Nassau County Bd. of Coop. Educ. Servs., 2010 NY Slip Op 31420(U), May 27, 2010, Supreme Court, Nassau County, Judge: Michele M. Woodard [Not selected for publication in the Official Reports]
Is an employee entitled to payment of his or her accrued, but unused, vacation credit upon his or her resignation? Typically the answer is yes.*
This was one of the issued presented by Mary Jane Bolin in her Article 78 petition seeking, among other things, a court order directing Nassau County Board of Cooperative Education Services to pay her for certain accrued leave credits.
Bolin had earlier resigned after she entered a plea of guilty to the crime of attempted grand larceny in the second degree** When Bolin asked BOCES to pay her $14,252.80 for her “banked vacation credit,”*** BOCES, in effect, deemed her resignation the equivalent of “termination for cause” and refused to pay her the cash value of such credit.
Judge Woodward, referring to the Appellate Division’s decision in Bolin v Nassau County Board of Cooperative Education Services 52 AD3d 704, said that in that case the Appellate Division distinguished between unused vacation leave and “vested banked vacation leave,” and found that Bolin failed to state a claim that BOCES was required to pay her the cash value of her 34-day vested banked vacation balance.
The court said that under the relevant collective bargaining agreement, BOCES had the discretion to deny such payment where an employee is separated is for cause. Citing Matter of William Floyd UFSD, 61 AD3 856, Judge Woodward commented that “In such instances the courts have found forfeiture of compensation, deferred or otherwise, warranted under the faithless servant doctrine.”
Authority to refuse to pay an individual for their accrued leave credits under similar circumstances is found in the Rules of the New York State Civil Service Commission, which Rules apply to employees of the State as an employer. 4 NYCRR 23.1, “Payment for accruals upon separation,” provides, in pertinent part, that “No employee who is removed from State service as a result of disciplinary action or who resigns after charges of incompetency or misconduct have been served upon him shall be entitled to compensation for vacation credits under the provisions of this Part.”
* Among exceptions to the general rule: 4 NYCRR 23.1 of Rules of the New York State Civil Service Commission, which apply to employees of the State as an employer, provides, in pertinent part, that the appointing authority may require, as a condition for such payment, that written notice of such resignation be given to the appointing authority at least two weeks prior to the last day of work.
** Bolin was sentenced to five years' probation and required to make restitution in the amount of $62,674.
*** Under the collective bargaining agreement, "Unit members who maintain a vacation day account consisting of more than forty (40) days (regular vacation leave days) will be granted a 'vested bank' of vacation days pursuant to the formula hereinafter set forth. . . Such members will be credited with two (2) days of “vested' vacation leave for every full year of Nassau BOCES service …. Upon resignation for purposes of retirement or resignation for purposes of separation other than a separation for cause, the unit member will be paid a cash sum equal to the number of days remaining in the unit member’s vested bank of vacation leave days.”
Judge Woodard’s decision is posted on the Internet at:
The decision is Bolin v Nassau County Board of Cooperative Education Services 52 AD3d 704 is posted on the Internet at:
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