Health News Today

County updates leave policy to address COVID needs

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CLINTON — Clinton County approved an updated version of the Emergency and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act policy earlier this week.

The policy adds that leave for employees caring for an individual quarantined or sick with COVID-19 is to isolate at home or take care of individuals isolating at home. Employees are not to be working secondary jobs outside of their home or partaking in activities away from their home outside of essential daily living tasks, the policy says. Daily living tasks include getting food, medicine and healthcare, according to the policy. 

If an employee is found to not be isolating for any reason other than receiving care or conducting essential living tasks, the employee can be disciplined up to and including termination, the policy adds. 

The policy states employees granted leave as an employee with children impacted by school district and daycare closures are not to be working secondary jobs during their normally scheduled working time while on leave. An employee found to not be providing the guidance, not to have been truthful about the school or daycare closure or has been working a second job during normal work hours while on leave can be disciplined up to and including termination, the policy states. 

Essential service employees do not qualify for leave under the employee caring for an individual quarantined or sick with COVID-19 or employees with children impacted by school district and daycare closures sections of the policy. 

Human Resources Director Dawn Aldridge noted that when employees take the 10 days of specialty pay, they are to isolate at home. The time is not to be used to work a second job or partake in activities outside of home, she said. 

“If you’re caught at the mall, then there will be disciplinary actions,” Aldridge said. It is to isolate at home. That’s why you’re getting that pay outside of your regular leave banks. You are able to get essential foods, medicines and healthcare but the reason why you’re getting that is because you’re supposed to be isolating at home. I’ve had to kind of keep repeating that numerous times.“

The county has seen an uptick in county employees saying they feel fine and will not stay home, Aldridge said. 

“I said, ‘Well then you can use your sick time because this money is earmarked for you to isolate at home to stop the spread,’” Aldridge said. 

Supervisor Jim Irwin Jr. noted Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act is a federal mandate with federal regulations. This is outside normal Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act leave, he noted. 

“That’s why we’re being a little more specific and a little more, I’m going to say, we could be a little more harsh on the disciplinary action because like you said,…

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