Supervisor Katrina Foley announced that the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) program for County employees, effective from December 31, 2021 to April 7, 2022. This will ensure the health and safety of employees and the public by providing up to 40-hours of paid sick leave for COVID-19 related absences.
“It is important that our County employees stay home safely when they are sick, which in turn protects the public and their coworkers”, said Supervisor Foley. “By offering our employees paid sick leave, they can take the time they need to recover or get tested, vaccinated, or boosted to help prevent severe illness and slow the community spread of COVID-19. Our social workers, public safety, health care professionals and essential workers have been our heroes through the pandemic.”
“For almost two years, County workers have fought to keep themselves safe, protect their families, and to keep our government open, said Charles Barfield, General Manager of the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA). “As the Omicron variant began to drive the current unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, OCEA demanded that the County provide County workers with additional sick leave. We are happy the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Emergency Paid Sick Leave for frontline County workers.”
Under the newly implemented plan, employees can qualify for Emergency Paid Sick Leave under the following conditions:
· COVID Positive Employee
· Employee caring for a family member required to quarantine or isolate
· Employees getting vaccinated or boosted and cannot work or telework due to subsequent vaccine or booster-related symptoms.
“I hope that this type of emergency, expanded sick leave serves as a reminder that if you are sick, please do not report to your workplace. If you are a County employee, stay home and contact your supervisor to discuss telecommuting or the use of EPSL,” added Supervisor Foley.
Said Charles Barfield, “As dedicated public servants, the ability to use emergency leave will allow these workers to continue providing essential services to our community during the pandemic. Common sense approaches like these will go far in keeping our County healthy and open.”