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County employees can be paid for time off if under COVID quarantine

County employees can be paid for time off if under COVID quarantine

 

By Rhett Wilkinson

Staff writer

11-25-2020

 

MANTI—Sanpete County employees who become ill with the coronavirus or who are required to quarantine can receive 14 paid days off without tapping their sick leave.

At the Sanpete County Commission meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10, Commissioner Chairman Scott Bartholomew said the allowance for quarantine time applies only if an employee gets a letter from the Central Utah Public Health Department ordering him or her into isolation.

If an employee stays home on his or her own volition, but isn’t officially ordered, the time must come out of sick leave, Bartholomew said. The paid-time is available to both part-time and full-time employees.

Sanpete County Auditor Stacey Lyon will be sending an email to employees explaining the policy, Bartholomew said.

The requirement to offer employees paid time without taking the time out of sick leave is spelled out in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law March 18. The law applies to public employers nationwide as well as businesses with 50 to 500 employees. It  expires Dec. 31 of this year.

In announcing the policy, Bartholomew noted COVID-19 counts in Sanpete have spiked significantly, which, he said, is why Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued a mask mandate two weeks ago.

In other activity at the meeting, Gary Mitchell, the new planning and zoning administrator, introduced himself to the commission. He was living in Santaquin and working in the construction industry before being hired by the county.

He replaces James Erickson, who will move to zoning enforcement, a role the county hasn’t had before. Erickson will report to Mitchell.