City of Tuscaloosa monitors employees out due to COVID-19, have childcare needs

City of Tuscaloosa monitors employees out due to COVID-19, have childcare needs
Scott Holmes, Associate Tuscaloosa City Attorney, Wednesday. (Source: WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Tuscaloosa’s Incident Command has a group that deals with COVID-19 related issues.

“We want to work with our employees and be a good employer and be flexible for them. But also the city has to make sure we maintain the level of staffing to run the city,” said Scott Holmes.

Holmes, an associate city attorney, is also Chief of Operations for COVID-19 Incident Command. He said there are two branches of Human Resources in Incident Command, one that deals with employees potentially being exposed to coronavirus and another that deals with issues based their children’s needs if they’ll be learning remotely.

“Forty-six spread out around the city is one thing, 46 in a very specific department puts us below our critical needs of staffing,” Holmes continued. He said 46 city workers are off the job as of Wednesday because of COVID related problems. They’ll work to ensure shifts are covered if someone in a department tests positive for coronavirus or has been exposed to someone who has. They’re also trying to help workers who may need to adjust their schedule because of their kids new school schedule.

“We are working toward making those flexible time or tele-work time when it is possible. Not every job can be flexed. Not every job can be worked from home,” Holmes added.

He went on to say some workers could be eligible for FMLA leave or another federally protected leave program that provides workers with 66% of their pay if they have to take off.

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