Frequently Searched

Tracking Release Time, State by State

October 13, 2020

States, cities, counties, and school districts across the country routinely allow government employees to be exempted from their official duties to perform union work while still drawing full pay and benefits from their employers. The practice is known as “release time,” and despite the high cost to taxpayers, most governments don’t even bother to track it.

In this map, you can click each state to see how these jurisdictions track — or don’t track — release time. For a deeper dive on the various contracts, click here. 


To get a sense of how extensive paid union release time is, or at least to identify the various practices used at the state and local level, the Goldwater Institute analyzed the practices of 150 jurisdictions, three from each state, and was able to document more than 400,000 hours of paid release time annually. Only 82 of the jurisdictions were able to provide data on the hours they allowed, including 44 that reported allowing zero hours. The rest either could not or would not provide data.

View full report Money for Nothing: Taxpayer Funded ‘Release Time’ Gives Government Employee Unions No Work and All Pay.



More on this issue

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.