Justifying the money

acurliss@newsobserver.comMay 17, 2012 

Documents related to payments made Friday to two former staffers for state House Speaker Thom Tillis describe the nearly $20,000 as “pay in lieu of notice.”

The News & Observer asked Tillis’ office to explain what that is.

A spokesman wrote in an email that a legislative staffer provided him with the following information, which he relayed to the N&O: “Payment in lieu of notice or ‘PILON’ is an employment law term used to describe a payment made to an employee by the employer, rather than the employee working through their statutory[1] notice period.”

That exact wording actually comes from an entry in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, for the phrase “pay in lieu of notice.”

The “statutory notice period” referred to in the entry’s only footnote is not from North Carolina law, but from something called the Employment Rights Act of 1996, which was passed in the United Kingdom.

Payments and personnel matters at the legislature are overseen by the legislative services office, which is headed by George R. Hall. Hall said in an interview that one of his staffers apparently came up with the “pay in lieu of notice” phrase in seeking a way to describe the payments, which were made at the request of the speaker’s office.

Hall said that “my understanding of all this” is that the speaker’s office wanted to give the former staffers a month of extra pay. The way it is being described was then developed after that, he said.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service