Department of Employee Trust Funds
December 22, 2010
ASLCC/SHICC and Section 40.19
Many active state employees have asked the Department of Employee
Trust Funds (ETF) about the Accumulated Sick Leave Conversion Credit
Program (ASLCC) and the Supplemental Health Insurance Conversion
Credit Program (SHICC). Since the employer submits an employee's
sick leave information to ETF at (or soon after) the employee's
termination, employees have inquired about the effect of any change
to sick leave benefits prior to their actual retirement.
In particular, active employees have asked about section 40.19
of Wisconsin Statutes, which recognizes employee rights to benefits
that have already accrued. They have asked: If statutes, the compensation
plan or labor agreements are changed prior to the day a state employee
chooses to retire, is the employee's sick leave balance protected
under s. 40.19?
Section 40.19 says that rights exercised and benefits accrued under
Chapter 40 for service rendered are due as a contractual right and
cannot be cancelled by any subsequent act of the legislature. However,
s. 40.19 does not protect the further accrual of benefits or the
future exercise of rights for service rendered.
Although ETF administers the ASLCC and SHICC programs, we do not
play a role in determining the amount of sick leave that employees
receive, or whether and how much of it may be accrued. Those matters
are defined in state law, the compensation plan for non-represented
state employees and the labor agreements for represented state employees.
While it is possible that s. 40.19 may protect the right of current
employees to convert their sick leave upon retirement, this issue
has not, to our knowledge, been tested in the courts. If attempts
are made to change these programs, it will be very important to
examine closely what those changes are and how they are made in
order to assess whether and to what extent the changes affect current
Finally, and this cannot be stressed enough, ETF has not seen any
proposals regarding changes to the ASLCC or SHICC programs.