I have only lived in Massachusetts for eight years so I am puzzled by the way in which employment contracts seem to be written in, at least part, of the Public sector.
You report that when he retires, Mr Thomas Kinton (Massport) will be entitled to draw on $400,000 in "sick pay" (Massport: Director's pay hike doesn't fly, Boston Globe, November 16, 2010: A22).
Sick pay should be just that, payment for days when you are prevented from working because you are sick. Properly administered, sick pay does two things. It allows the individuals to recuperate more quickly than they might if they came to work, this would enhance the organization's productivity; it also protects the organization by not having coughing and sneezing individuals in the workplace who might infect their colleagues, this too enhances productivity.
If, however, you can claim payment for unused sick days at retirement, these incentives are reversed. To get a big terminal bonus, the individual is encouraged to come to work, to work at a torpid pace because of sickness, and possibly infect colleagues with the illness.
How did such contracts come to be written?
Sent to the Boston Globe