Gov. Charlie Baker is pushing legislation aimed at limiting how much sick time state workers can save up.

Baker said in a statement Wednesday the goal is to avoid what he called exorbitant payouts to retiring workers who have used little or no sick time.

The Republican governor says sick time is a benefit meant to give workers a way to deal with health and families issues, not a retirement bonus.

The bill would cap the amount of sick time Executive Department employees could accrue at 1,000 hours. That's equivalent to about six months of work.

The bill would exempt 5,800 state employees who have already accrued more than 1,000 hours of sick time. Their sick time would be capped at the amount they have when the bill becomes law.