Coba Alert

COBA Settles Class Action Grievance 41(J)

April 2, 2024


COBA is pleased to inform you that we have successfully reached a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the County settling a Class Action Contractual Grievance regarding the 41(J) retirement benefits.  

Here are the key details:  

  • Section 41(J) of the Retirement and Social Security Law provides an optional sick leave benefit for excess, unpaid sick leave.  
  • Previously, excess sick leave accruals over 235 days were considered “catastrophic” and forfeited at Retirement, a violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  
  • Nassau County has agreed to offer this benefit, and now qualifying Members can receive service credit for their excess, unpaid sick leave over 235 days, at retirement.
  • For example, if you had 65 “catastrophic” sick days at retirement that time can be converted to 3 months of service credit.
  • The County has agreed to look back 6 years to determine if any Member who has retired with excess, unused sick time that would qualify to be reported to the State under 41(J), will be reported and have their Service Credit adjusted.  


  • Service Credit cannot exceed 165 days (about 7 ½ months)
  • Those hired after April 2012 are limited to 100 days of service credit (about 4 ½ months)
  • Credit for unused sick leave at retirement cannot be used to qualify for vesting
  • Credit cannot be used to meet the service plan requirements (25 years)
  • Credit cannot be used to Increase your retirement benefit beyond our plan maximum
  • Can not be used when calculating your final average salary.  

Next Steps:

  • Review your sick leave balances and understand how this new benefit can impact your retirement or retirement plans.  
  • Any COBA Member who has retired since March 28th of 2018 and had “Catastrophic” Sick Leave is encouraged to contact the Human Resource unit as well as COBA to see if you qualify for additional service credit.  

In conclusion, with the recently signed agreements concerning 41(J), the 401(A) and the new 60-day payout option for separation pay, COBA has provided our members with many options for retirement. We encourage all members thinking about retirement to reach out to us to discuss which option may work for you and your family.


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