Marshall County Personnel Board discusses COVID-19 sick leave options

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- The Marshall County Personnel Board met late Thursday afternoon to figure out a way to help employees who may not have enough sick leave accrued for during the COVID-19 crisis.  

The coronavirus has forced more than 100,000 people across Alabama into quarantine.

News 19 spoke with department leaders Wednesday before the scheduled meeting.

“Even with the current guidelines, anyone who has been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual is supposed to be out the 14 days whether they have symptoms or not,” said Marshall County personnel administrator Christy Kelley.

While some of the more veteran Marshall county employees have accrued extra sick time to help during the COVID-19 crisis, newer employees are not as lucky.

“We’re just looking at options, trying to help employees to make sure it can have the least amount of impact on the employee, so that we can cover them during this time because we want to protect current employees and keep people from feeling like they need to come back to work too soon,” said Kelley.

Kelley said about 20 or so county employees have already taken advantage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

It gives employees two weeks of fully paid sick leave if they have to be quarantined for exposure to COVID-19 or are having symptoms and awaiting diagnosis.

Employees can also get two weeks of 2/3 paid sick leave if they cannot work in order to take care of someone quarantined or if their child’s school or daycare is closed because of the coronavirus.

“We’re trying to be very cautious but not make them not use, you know, any more leave than they have to,” explained Kelley.

Employees can also get up to 10 extra weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular pay  if an employee is unable to work because their child’s school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for COVID-19-related issues.

Kelley told News 19 they may need to make a resolution to change sick leave policy, but they have not yet decided whether it is necessary.

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