COVID-19/Leave Policies

 

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Message from the Mayor

Dear City Employees,

While the City of Little Rock considers novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a very serious public health threat, the current immediate health risk to the general public in Arkansas is considered LOW at this time.   The City has been preparing for potential COVID-19 cases to protect public health by working with and following guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Posters and flyers to educate employees on how to stay healthy will be distributed around all City facilities and can be found on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/.

City of Little Rock is also taking preventative steps to protect the health and safety of employees related to the potential spread of COVID-19. The following information and guidance will help our employees prepare for and mitigate potential risk.

We will continue to update this guidance based on the latest information. The best place to find updated information on COVID-19 for the State of Arkansas is at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/.  We encourage you to protect yourself and others from respiratory infections like the flu and COVID-19 through:

  • practicing good handwashing,
  • covering coughs and sneezes,
  • avoiding touching your face,
  • getting your annual flu shot, and
  • staying home when you are sick. 

Effective March 12, 2020, employees in the PTO/STD leave plan will NOT have to take three days of PTO before using STD for COVID sickness absences, through May 1, 2020, where it will be reviewed again.

  • If you believe that you were exposed to COVID-19 you will need to register at https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/ and provide a copy of it to your supervisor before you return to work.
  • If your child’s school closes, you will need to use your PTO/vacation if you need to stay home to provide child care.
  • For non-COVID related sicknesses, all employees must provide a note before you return to work according to your union agreement/policy.
  • If you believe that you have been exposed to COVID during the course of performing your job duties, please report it to your supervisor as this MAY be considered workers’ compensation.
  • Your supervisor can send you home if you are displaying symptoms. If you have symptoms or feel sick, including running a fever, please do not come to work. You must be fever free for 48 hours before returning to work. You are risking the lives of other employees and their families, who may not be able to physically fight the virus. Please do the right thing.

 

Perform Routine Cleaning

In partnership with our maintenance providers, the City will begin implementing additional measures to help ensure a clean workplace through:

  • Implementing enhanced cleaning at City facilities to include disinfecting touch points along common routes of travel through the facilities,
  • Checking building restrooms multiple times a day to ensure adequate supplies of soap and paper products, and
  • Available hand sanitizers in many common areas and offices.

Each Department is also working to acquire additional supplies such as wipes and tissues as supplies become available.

Business Travel

Effective immediately, all City government business travel will be suspended for the next 60 days unless it is approved by the Office of Executive Administration.  Please review all currently planned travel with your Department Director.

Personal Travel

The City is supporting the Governor’s advice on personal travel:  Ask some simple questions. Is it to a state or area with confirmed cases? Does the trip include large gatherings with other people from multiple unknown locations? When you return, will you have contact with the elderly or with other large groups? Are you driving or going by mass transportation? Are there safer options for the vacation?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health have many resources if you have questions or need additional information.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional workforce management guidance as more information becomes available. Employees with questions about any Human Resources policy may contact the Little Rock Human Resources Department at 501-371-4590.

The Arkansas Department of Health has set up a call center to answer questions. During normal business hours (8:00am – 4:30pm), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 which include, fever, cough or difficulty breaking, call your healthcare provider before seeking care. They can advise you of the next steps you should take.

Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.