Baltimore City paid an extra $261,998 in severance to workers from its Office of Information & Technology, according to a report released Tuesday by the city’s Office of the Inspector General.
The inspector general found eight instances in which the department let employees resign rather than terminating them, allowing them to remain in the city’s payroll system while they depleted unused time off. As of Tuesday’s report, two of the employees were still in the city’s system.
Under city rules, employees can be paid for unused personal, vacation and sick time upon separation, but not unused compensatory time off. That practice cost the agency nearly $78,000.
Paying for the employees’ health benefits while they remained in the system cost an estimated $35,149, according to the report from Inspector General Isabel Cumming’s office.
After some of the employees exhausted their accrued leave, they were granted additional permission leave by the Office of the Labor Commissioner, which cost an estimated $148,899.
There isn’t a policy governing the use of permission leave, according to the report, or whether employees could remain on payroll to exhaust accrued leave.
“Without clear policies on these matters, BCIT was told to apply agency discretion,” the report read. “Such discretion had resulted in the perception that City funds are used to pay separated employees in an inequitable or wasteful manner.”