DCPS approves paid leave for staff exposed to COVID-19

By Zach Armstrong

DINWIDDIE, Va -- The Dinwiddie School Board approved revisions to the Emergency Leave Regulations for guidance on how to apply leave practices for employees impacted by COVID-19.

Although employers aren’t required to provide paid leave for exposures or quarantines, the School Board implemented an emergency leave benefit beginning Monday, Nov. 2, 2021 and will expire on Jan. 27, 2022.

The Emergency Leave Regulations will provide up to ten days of leave at 100% pay for employees exposed to a confirmed case within DCPS during the course of work or employees identified as the parent or legal guardian of a student exposed to a confirmed case within DCPS while the student was receiving instruction.

Employees subject to these requirements from Wednesday, August 25, 2021, through Monday, November 1, 2021, will receive Emergency Leave and be credited with the leave previously used related to their student’s quarantine period.

The Emergency Leave does not exceed ten days. Once the DCPS Emergency Leave is exhausted, the employee’s leave will be applied. Employees ineligible for the benefit will use accrued leave.

The determination of who is subject to a paid quarantine will be determined on a case by case basis, based on guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, in partnership with staff designated to perform contract tracing duties, and the employee’s immediate supervisor.

A memo issued to the School Board stated “We expect employees to be responsible and good stewards of the School Board’s resources, including paid leave time. We trust that this benefit will be used appropriately and not misused for personal gain. If it is determined that an employee or student does not meet the requirements qualifying as an exposure or a confirmed case, is exposed as a result of not abiding by current mandates, such as not following the school division’s established Health & Safety Measures, not abiding by the School Board policies while at work, etc. or knowingly exposing themselves to a sick individual, we reserve the right to deny this benefit.”