The COVID-19 Pandemic brought a lot of changes to many different avenues of our lives; some of those changes were temporary in nature while others have become more-permanent.

One of those temporary changes might become a little more permanent for City of Superior employees.

A proposal made by Superior Mayor Jim Paine would change the way that the city treats the necessary, mandated time off that employees would need to take for a quarantine period.  When the COVID-19 Pandemic began, the city quickly moved to allow infected employees to quarantine at home while still getting paid for their time.  According to the details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], those quarantining employees didn't need to utilize their Personal Time Off (PTO); they were "simply paid their regular wage", "at times for up to two weeks".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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That procedure was set in place by the State of Emergency that was declared by the city.  The emergency declaration ended on June 1, 2021 and with it also went the variance for what to do about employees, quarantine, wages, and PTO.

To rectify the situation, Paine has submitted a series of proposals that would specifically address the situation.  He explains:

"It always bothered me that we were requiring people to take PTO.  There were some instances where people didn't have enough PTO to cover [a necessary quarantine]."

Here is a run-down of the five proposals that Mayor Jim Paine is looking to have the city implement:

  • Employees with a documented positive case of COVID-19 would be placed on administrative leave for up to five days following the infection.
  • Quarantines lasting longer than five days would require the use of PTO or unpaid time.
  • Subsequent infections would require the use of PTO or unpaid time.
  • Employees that can document a case of COVID-19 between June 1, 2021 and the time the policy is adopted could be credited for up to five days of PTO.
  • All policies expire at Midnight on December 31, 2022.

It's worth nothing that last proposal - which wouldn't make the changes permanent (i.e. they would have a "sunset"; any extension would need to be re-addressed at that time).

Superior Mayor Jim Paine's proposals were submitted to the Human Resources Committee for review.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
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