Dear Elected Officials and Department Heads:
Governor Holcomb issued Executive Order 20-08 today that will go into effect March 24th at midnight, and continue until April 6th at midnight. The order allows County Governments to define their “Essential Government Functions” and allows for the continued operation of government agencies. The spirit of the order is to limit your staff to only those required to perform necessary functions. Given the Governor’s speech today explaining that the next two weeks are critical , and Pulaski County’s desire to be part of the solution, the Temporary Work Force Reduction Policy will be enacted beginning at 11:59 p.m. on March 24th 2020, and continue until March 6th 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
The county policy complies with the executive order. It does not mean the employees are on vacation, but rather that they are “on call” to perform essential functions. The department heads are to use their discretion in going to work, and calling in only those necessary to perform essential functions. Keep in mind, that essential functions include the continued operation of government agencies, so if you believe a task needs completed, then get it done. With that said, you must always comply with paragraph 20 (a-g)on pages 9-10 of the executive order to ensure the safety of your employees.
If your department is “essential” under the Temporary Work Force Reduction Policy then it is critical that you monitor your employees. If they have been exposed to the virus then encourage them to use PTO to self-quarantine. Each employee should have plenty of PTO to stay home if they are afraid they have been exposed. If they show any symptoms of the virus then they should be sent home until the symptoms have resolved and a minimum of 72 hours has passed.
The County is aware of the recent Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. We will be addressing both of these and how they impact county employees early next week. The law does not take effect until April 2nd, 2020. The current work force reduction policy should cover most workers, but the new law will still apply to “essential employees” so it is something to be aware of because it may effect your workforce beginning next week.
Kevin C. Tankersley, County Attorney (dictated)