City bus drivers in New York can take up to two months off to heal from the indignity of being spat upon by angry or abusive passengers, the New York Post reports. Under their union contract, which defines being spat upon as “assault,” they are allowed to take paid sick leave to recover.
Last year, 51 bus drivers took an average of 64 days off for this reason, Metropolitan Transit Authority officials said, adding that at least some of them may have been abusing the system. Like Metro, MTA has a massive budget deficit. Part of it may be due to the 25 percent of bus drivers who took 15 or more sick days last year, forcing their fellow transit workers to log $560 million of overtime.
“I don’t envy anyone [who is spat upon]… but you have to wonder if you can go home and shower off, take a nap, take off the rest of the day and maybe the next day,” MTA board member Nancy Shevell was quoted as saying.