At some levels of government what you say is true. Sort of. Federal civil service workers are allowed to save up to certain levels of annual leave (vacation time) and are then forced into use or lose. Sick leave was unlimited but you needed a good doctor to prove you needed to take extended time off. They did allow you to use sick leave for caring for a family member like I did when my dad had to have a triple bypass and my mom could not do everything that needed to be done. On the other hand I made $33K a year when my civilian counterparts were making upwards of $100K for doing the same work. It's been quite awhile.