Vt. flip-flopped on vacation accrual

Sunday June 17, 2012

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- For years, the Vermont attorney general joined the state Commission on Women and state Human Rights Commission in telling employers that when workers go on family leave, they continue to build up sick leave and vacation time.

But when the state was in the role of the employer, and faced a complaint from a worker that she was cheated out of nearly 60 hours of accrued leave time while out on maternity leave, its position changed 180 degrees.

Ursula Stanley, a civil engineer who works on bridges for the state Agency of Transportation, returned from a three-month maternity leave in 2007 and was told that she had not built up the nearly 30 hours each of vacation and sick time she thought she had.

The Vermont Supreme Court agreed with the state in a ruling this month, according to court papers that detail the case.

Stanley, 35, said in an interview that time off was important to her. She worked closer than her husband to their new baby's day care.

"I was going to be the one responding anytime they called," she said.


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