Why were these EPA employees paid $1 million to not work?

Thomas Lee and Katie Tubb --- The Daily Signal 

How would you like to get paid a full-time salary plus benefits for not working, and without taking any sick days? Sounds like a dream, right?

According to both the Government Accountability Office and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General, eight EPA employeeswere paid over $1 million while on paid administrative leave. These eight employees were on paid leave for at least four months. Four of them were on leave for over a year, including one who was away for over four years.

A Nov. 19 EPA report confirmed that eight employees had a total of 20,926 hours of administrative leave, costing taxpayers an estimated $1,096,868 from January 2010 to Sept. 2014.  The report was in response to an Oct. 17 GAO study on paid administrative leave in the federal government, which will be released in April 2015.

GAO auditors found that from fiscal years 2011 to 2013, the EPA paid $17,550,100 in paid leave salaries, not including benefits, for 69 employees. Government personnel regulations state that paid leave for employees related to misconduct should only be used in “rare circumstances.” According to the Washington Post, employees on paid leave continued to collect a salary, pension, vacations, sick days and even climb the federal pay scale.

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