HISD board approves administration’s request to restore COVID-related paid leave for staff

Style Magazine Newswire | 1/11/2021, 4:01 p.m.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted unanimously 9-0 Thursday to approve HISD administration’s request to extend paid leave to employees who are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or close contact with an infected individual.

The vote came during the board’s regular agenda review meeting Thursday night.

The board adopted a resolution extending certain leave benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired December 31, 2020.

“We are pleased and grateful to the board for supporting our employees who are required to quarantine as a result of contracting COVID-19 or being exposed to it,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “This measure allows us to help our staff, students and their families who are affected by the risks posed by the pandemic.”

Employees will be able to apply for up to 80 total hours (or 10 days) of emergency paid sick leave when they are required to quarantine due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the virus.

The board’s action comes as Congress has made no move to reinstate FFCRA. The resolution also gives the superintendent the authority to determine whether and how to allow employees to continue to use the 80 hours of leave originally provided by the FFCRA if Congress modifies or extends the federal act. The application can be found on our HISD Human Resources page under “Important COVID-19 Info.”

During the COVID-19 update to the board, Dr. Lathan shared that HISD is also partnering with Kroger and Next Level to assist employees who qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including school nurses, school police officers and school wellness teams. Wellness teams consist of individuals in the frontline at the schools who check temperatures daily for school entry and supporting school nurses. Please note that vaccine recipients have been identified and pre-approved to receive their vaccinations and are being notified directly.