More than 200 Cook County corrections officers call in sick for Mother’s Day
The 206 corrections officers who called off are a significant improvement from Mother’s Day 2016, in which more than 460 corrections officers called off.
More than 200 Cook County corrections officers called in sick for Mother’s Day.
Just under a third of the corrections officers, 32 percent, were scheduled to work on Mother’s Day. Of the 206 total officers who called in, 86 said they were sick, while 120 called in under the Family Medical Leave Act, a federal law which protects employee personal and medical information.
Due to the large amount of call-offs, Cook County Jail was placed on lockdown with only essential inmate movement allowed for reasons such as mental health and medical treatment. But despite the lockdown, the visitation schedule was not altered.
This is not the first time Cook County Jail has had a problem with a large portion of its corrections officers calling for unscheduled sick or leave days. One estimate from CBS 2 says that on an average Sunday 60-70 corrections officers call in sick.
High-profile sporting events and holidays often cause increased call-offs and last-minute cancelations known as “sickouts.” These sickouts often result in the jail being understaffed leading to restricted movement for inmates, increased overtime costs for taxpayers, and heightened risk for the corrections officers who show up. In February, more than 240 corrections officers called in sick for the Super Bowl. And for the Cubs’ historic World Series run, more than 370 Cook County correctional officers called off.
However, this year’s Mother’s Day call-offs were not as bad as they were for Mother’s Day 2016, where more than 460 corrections officers called-off. The lack of adequate staffing forced Cook County Jail to go on lockdown and cost Cook County $75,000 in overtime costs.
Corrections officers thinking of calling off should remember these facts the next time a major sports event or holiday rolls around.