BOSTON (CBS) – Most people do not end up using all of their sick days allotted at work.  But $450,000 in unused sick days?  WBZ-TV West Boylston viewer Linda submitted her curiosity asking how Massport CEO Thomas Kinton, who will retire in June, will walk out the door with nearly half a million dollars in his pocket.

She writes, “In these difficult financial times, where cuts are being made to important services, why are we still paying exorbitant amounts of money to state employees who retire?  Why are they paid for accumulated unused sick days?

Under pressure, Massport changed their sick days policy in 2007 so that retiring employees wouldn’t be in this position. Kinton, however, is not affected by the policy change because he has been with Massport for 35 years.

Watch the answer to Linda’s curiosity here:

Is something making you Curious? Declare Your Curiosity to WBZ-TV.

Comments (25)
  1. CJ says:

    Hope it is taxed at the mandatory bonus rate (40-42%) like the rest of us working class folks would have to pay if we were able to take our unused sick time when we left a job. And has any one verified that the amount is correct? did he never take a sick day – or were they not counted because he was “salaried” and time was not adequately tracked?

    Hard – perhaps cynical sounding questions but ones I think are worth asking.

    1. lotsoflaughs says:

      If you haven’t read this blog yet you should…it’s full of really funny articles. Don’t worry it’s all clean and kid friendly too.

  2. Ted says:

    Crooks. They are all crooks! We the people of Massachusetts should not stand for this any longer! If things don’t change in this state, the future is awful bleak for MA.

  3. emom says:

    Oh I see, they are getting additional VACATION TIME, but they call it sick time, OH WAIT<< how long have they worked for the state,, I mean when I earned sick time if I had not used it I LOST IT,,, I could only save vacation time.. for that matter I dont know many companies that allow you to SAVE sick time. useually you only get up to a week or so… You know MASS POLITICIANS NEED TO COME OF THEIR PEDESTALS, TALK WITH THE COMMON FOLKS, GET A FEEL OF WHAT ITS LIKE TO LIVE LIKE US, and get a huge cut in benifits and pay.. after all they dont DO ANYTHING , they take constantly from us.. benies,, go figure,, crooks indeed,,

    1. citygirl says:

      Not sure about your past/current employers, but sick time isn’t usually under a use or lose policy unless perhaps you accrue an excessive amount of time. Employees can become sick or injured where they would need extra time than normal to recover. Vacation, on the other hand, is treated differently.

      1. jlp72 says:

        I think you misunderstood emom. Another way to say it is the company GIVES you sick time and if you don’t take it, it’s gone. You can’t carry it over like vacation time. Not so in the public sector. I know a few town/state employees that cashed in their sick time for $$$ and it crushed the town’s budget. It has to stop.

      2. emom says:

        CITYGIRK, you must work for the governor,, because In the public work force , there are no companies that give SICK time so you can bank and save,, ONly vacation time is banked and saved and so many compaies only allow you to bank one years worth now… and if you dont use them by a certain time you can loose them as well. the only Kind of sick time that gives you more than 7 days is short term and long term dissability,, and YOU must have a DOCTORS note to use it, its not a, OH I FEEL SICK TYPE OF SICK DAYS,. BUT if you have SPECIAL sick time that you can bank kuddoos to you ,, we as working stiffs are not privialaged to have such luxuries,

  4. Stephen P. Martin says:

    A stellar 35 year career. In the years since 9/11 Mr Kinton has worked hard at making Logan Airport and all the Ports of Boston a safer place for us all under, what I am sure, was intense pressure and stress….I commend him for his service and dedication….He certainly has earned all that is coming to him. Let’s all remember we are the first to complain and take issue when something goes wrong. Let’s applaud him and thank him for a job well done. Thank you Mr. Kinton for your service.

    1. jlp72 says:

      Not sure why we have to reward someone for a job well done by paying him for his unused sick time??? Isn’t that why we have raises and bonuses ? At least that’s how they do it in the private sector.

  5. taxedout says:

    Mr Martin, you related to this guy???? This is what is Killing the state, and I’m talking about us TAXPAYERS!!!! How much Blood do you want from us??? Taxes keep going up, and we keep getiing Less… Seems the people in this state don’t care anyway, cause the haves were voted in again!!!

    1. Steve M says:

      Taxed out, you hit the nail on the head when you said we voted the haves (wrong) people in. But, don’t blame the guy for what he is walking away with, when we start out in our careers whether it be public or private sector, we essentially plan for our retirement…or at least my generation did. In those days, the beni’s were much better than they are today…. Mr. Kinton chose a career in public life, he earned what was coming to him under the set of rules that applied then….. Your right, they do need to be changed, but, don’t blame him…..I also want to remind everyone that he took over at the helm after 9/11 and I for one feel very safe flying in and out of Logan under his administration.

  6. response says:

    Most sick time policies are use it or lose it policy.
    The change that I would like to see happen, if you carry over 10 sick days from your first year of employment, those 10 sick days should be paid out at the salary rate from that year. All sick days accured and carried over for the second year, paid at your second year rate….and so on….
    The rate for disbursing sick pay upon retirement, should not be paid at the employees current rate of pay. (Just like the pension should not be based on your last three years of salary becuase we know people are given “cushey” jobs toward the end of their tenure, just to get a bigger pension)

  7. Jim Donovan says:

    I always thought sick days were for if you were sick. And if not used they went away.
    He may have been reasonably competent. But 2 of 4 planes high jacked in 911 came from Logan. There was a reason for this.

  8. illegal says:

    use it or lose it policy on the ballot?

  9. J says:

    is this number correct?
    How is it possible?
    How much sick time does he get per year that he can carry over?

    Do the math!


  10. taxedout says:

    illegal: I’d love to see this on the ballot, but remember what state you live in, Never happen!!!

  11. Denise says:

    How much $$ does this guy make? $450,000 / 35 yrs is $12857 let’s say he gets the 15 days most cities give thier employees for whatever reason (I only get 5 and if I don’t use it to bad) that is $857 a day and we know he doesn’t work 8 hrs… so let’s say 7.5 again since most cities and town employees only work 37.5 hrs now a days … he makes $114 an hour??? Please tell me my math is wrong – or better yet it’s right and how do I get one of these jobs!

    Sad and minimum wage isn’t enough to live on! This guy can support a couple families for a year on his sick time!

    1. J. Wilson says:

      Denise you are mistaken ,I worked with Tom K. at Massport. I want you and others who think he got paid for sick days too much, and he doesn’t work 8hrs. Well you are wrong. Tom worked more than 8hrs , he had repetive working all the time well over 8hrs. Tom has simply worked so much more than people such as you, will never believe that he also worked on Holidays over and over on every one of his 35 years.

  12. J says:


    I did the same as you and and got the same results, my jaw still hurts from where it hit the desk. That’s why I said do the math.

    A lot of people see the number and say it’s to high but fail to do the math as you did to get the real results.

    This state and the country are going down hill fast and the pols, the city and state workers and anyone else getting government money want us to take the hit in our wallets. Just don’t ask them to take anything out of their wallets or cut the abused welfare, mass health or any other program.

    It is outrageous that this goes on and then they just look us in the eye and tell us that it’s the way it is.

    I don’t care what they were promised or negotiated, anything can be changed and if they don’t like it leave.


  13. Cynic says:

    My Father worked for the Federal Government all his life… He never took a sick day if he could still crawl to work, The rule on sick time then was use it or lose it,so the last two years or so he could work only one or two days a week.

    If you can save up your sick days until you retire aren’t you being paid double time for those days?

    Maybe this guy is just doing his part to help Mass make #one in the corruption ratings.

  14. Cynic says:

    One Company I worked for had the policy that you had to keep X amount of sick days accrued just in case. The excess you could sell back to the Company every December. This seemed fair and it sure cut down on the number of guys calling off because they had a hangover.

  15. emom says:

    One thing is sick time is for when you are TRUELY SICK< not because you want to play hooky , are stupid enouigh to get drunk the day before work or feel you need to just take the day of and shop or do nothing,, This is the problem with america, LAZYNESS, In my 30 years of working I pride myself on never using asick day, only if I was truely sick, and that was really rare, I MEAN REALLY REALLLY RARE< in the last 6 years I never used a sick day,,, never needed to, Besides, if you had you could get written up,, if you reached 3 days, Oh it happened to some, stupid new policy the company had ,,, didnt make sense and welll so glad I no longer work for those fools,,, But in any case, sick time is for when you or the famiuly is sick, mostly if you are sick…So why does politicians have special benifits,,,, THEY SHOULDNT

  16. taxedout says:

    Parole board cashed in their sick time to the tune of 22K. They did an excellent job while in so I see no problem, over 100 cons with life sentences were paroled. These Numb Skuls were makeing around 90K…Stiffed again!!!! We have cut to the bone!!!!! Pay Up Dummies!!!

  17. emom says:

    by the way this guiys sick time is curtisy of the massachusetts taxpayers,, how does that make you all feel now…

  18. taxed2the max says:

    There are some companies in Massachusetts that do not give sick time at all, both my husband and I work at two such companies; if you are sick you either don’t get paid at all or take a vacation day. But we have to pay taxes on our income so State workers get to “cash in” their unused sick time, and oh yes, no pensions at either of these companies either. Massachusetts is the “Entitlement State”

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