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Commissioners consider extending Family First Coronavirus Response Act paid leave

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 17:56:53-04

QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — For the more than 200 employees who work for Gadsden County, extending the Family First Coronavirus Response Act could make a significant impact on their livelihood.

Gadsden County Staff Assistant Katina Washington had to take time off in March to tend to her family due to COVID-19.

"Right now, I am very appreciative to the county for allowing us to have that act they approved to let us stay home and not worry about losing our job or anything," said Washington.

Her time off was paid for according to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. It was first approved by the Federal Government through December 2020. Gadsden County Commissioners unanimously approved an optional extension of the act's benefits to last through March 31st. Now, they're tasked with extending it a second time, through September 30.

Human Resource Manager Lonyell Butler says some additional provisions will even help with absences due to vaccinations.

"With this extension, it also adopted three additional provisions that would allow employees to be approved for such coverage such as if they are going to get immunization for COVID if they are experiencing any symptoms that are related to an immunization for COVID as well," said Butler.

Even though it could make for a heavier workload for those who are not out on paid leave, Washington says it's a reasonable price to pay for employee safety.

"I know it harms the business in some sort of way, but you want people healthy. Because you can't get good results or work ethic if the person don't feel good," said Washington.

Safety, Butler adds, that will extend into the entire community.

"Because the majority of our employees are citizens and residents of Gadsden County, then it also allows our working environment to remain safe as well to the employees and to the community, the citizens that patronize and visit us."

Gadsden County Commissioners will vote on the measure this evening at 6 p.m.