Gasconade R-2 board approves modified GCR2 COVID Leave policy by resolution

Posted 1/20/21

The Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education on Jan. 18 voted 7-0 to approve the COVID-19 Leave Resolution — an extension of the expired Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allowing …

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Gasconade R-2 board approves modified GCR2 COVID Leave policy by resolution

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The Gasconade County R-2 Board of Education on Jan. 18 voted 7-0 to approve the COVID-19 Leave Resolution — an extension of the expired Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allowing teachers and staff to take off work with one-time pay — with modifications.

Superintendent Dr. Chuck Garner told the board that district employees still needed the ability to utilize the FFCRA.

According to a two-page document submitted to the board, the FFCRA is needed since the governor declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic that may require additional paid leave for COVID-19 related reasons between Jan. 19 and June 30, 2021. The district is reviewing leave policies to encourage employees who are ill to stay home by extending certain types of COVID-19 sick leave.

In order to qualify for Gasconade County R-2 COVID-19 Leave (GCR2 COVID Leave), employees who have not exhausted all emergency paid sick leave under the FFCRA prior to Jan. 18, 2021, will be provided up to 10 days of paid leave, reduced by EPSL used prior to Jan. 18, 2021, to full or part-time employees who are unable to work, telework or work under the district essential worker clause because the employee:

A: Is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to the COVID-19 virus, and has exhibited any symptoms during the quarantine period;

B: Has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine because the employee has, or may have, COVID-19;

C: Is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis from a healthcare provider;

D: Is caring for a spouse, child or parent who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider because the individual has or may have COVID-19. The words “spouse, child or parent” has the same meaning as these terms are given under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and will be provided the same benefit as the original federal ESPL.

For part-time employees, the board will extend the equivalent of two weeks of COVID leave, reduced by EPSL used prior to Jan. 18, 2021, to any regular, part-time employee who is unable to work, telework, or work under the district essential worker clause due to the reasons listed in number one above, based on the number of hours worked, on average, over 10 business days (two weeks).

If a part-time employee has varying hours, one of two methods for computing the number of hours paid will be used:

A: If the employee has worked six months or more, the average number of hours that employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period ending on the data on which the employee takes leave, including hours for which the employee took leave of any type; 

B: If the employee has worked fewer than six months, the expected number of hours to be scheduled per day at the time of hire; 

C: The number of hours available shall be reduced by the number of hours of EPSL used prior to Jan. 1, 2021.

Substitute employees do not qualify for GCR2 COVID Leave.

GCR2 COVID Leave must be used in a single block of time during a qualifying condition. Until exhausted, GCR2 Leave may be used for subsequent qualifying conditions.

Payment under the GCR2 COVID Leave rate is at the employee’s regular rate of pay for all qualifying reasons listed. For leave to care for a sick family member, the employee is compensated at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, but they may use other qualifying supplemental leave payment.

As the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) will not be available in 2021, an employee who is eligible for FMLA leave and is absent due to qualifying conditions under FMLA, the district will apply FMLA concurrently with GCR2 COVID Leave.

GCR2 COVID Leave will expire on June 30, 2021, and will not apply to absences from duties related to summer school or extended school year. Employees will not be compensated for unused GCR2 COVID Leave.

In order to qualify for COVID-19 Leave, employees may be required to provide documentation satisfactory to the superintendent or designee verifying that the absence is due to a qualifying COVID-19 condition.

The district may require an employee who uses GCR2 COVID Leave to communicate periodically with the district regarding his or her ability to return to work or telework.

The district will operate in good faith with employees, however, if they become aware that an employee is not following district rules such as wearing masks, social distancing whenever possible, sanitizing or other precautionary measures while at work; is violating quarantine or isolation orders or recommendations issued by a healthcare provider; or is violating local, state, or federal health orders, the superintendent or designee may deny the use of GCR2 COVID Leave, and the employee will be required to use his or her applicable accumulated leave or take unpaid leave. The district reserves the right to take additional disciplinary action, including termination, for violations of the able rules, order, and recommendations.

Additionally, the board of education delegates to the superintendent the responsibility for creating appropriate administrative procedures to assist employees in using GCR2 COVID Leave, as well as the cost associated with this leave and to seek reimbursement from appropriate local, state or federal funds, if available.

The board reserves the right to terminate or amend GCR2 COVID Leave or any part of the resolution at any time. The administrative staff will provide regular information to the board regarding the use of GCR2 COVID Leave. Leave will automatically terminate upon the earliest occurrence of the following, without further action by the board, effective date of any new state or federal leave protections associated with COVID-19 that may be enacted by the Missouri General Assembly or the United States Congress; or June 30, 2021.

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