Westchester Legislators Guarantee Financial Protections for County’s Active Duty Personnel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2013

Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-419-5221 (cell)

Westchester Legislators Guarantee Financial Protections for County’s Active Duty Personnel

White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) approved an act earlier this month guaranteeing protection of certain salaries and benefits for County officers and employees who are ordered to active military duty.

The legislation, which was introduced by BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) and signed by County Executive Rob Astorino, now ensures that County employees will receive a salary equal to the difference, if any, between their County salary and the salary paid for the performance of ordered military duty. The act pertains to the period of absence that exceeds the paid military leave provided under New York State Military Law.

“County employees called to active duty because of their ongoing responsibilities as members of our nation’s armed forces should not have to worry about their paychecks and health benefits being jeopardized while they are away,” said Jenkins. “This legislation strengthens the County’s commitment to these individuals and lets them know that we will support them in every way possible as they protect the people and interests of our great country.”

During the time eligible County officers or employees are performing ordered military duty, they will continue to receive their health, dental and vision coverage. Retirement contributions will continue, but sick leave will not accrue during the absences, however.

The new legislation is based on annual actions taken by the BOL and Administration since 2001 to protect the salaries and benefits of the County employees in this regard. Previously, a new act covering each year was passed, but in 2011 the Astorino Administration let the provisions inadvertently lapse. Now, the new legislation protects the County employees without needing an annual renewal.

The BOL also approved a resolution recently proclaiming Westchester as a Purple Heart County, in recognition of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s men and women in the armed forces who were wounded or killed by the enemy. August 7th has officially been designated as the day to remember and recognize veterans who are recipients of the Purple Heart Medal.

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=Bazzo 06/25/13

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