New sick leave policy for COVID-19 has upset some Lee County employees

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – A coronavirus sick leave policy recently passed by Lee County leaders has some employees crying foul. Lee County Board of Supervisors President Billy Joe Holland says a recent sick leave policy change is an incentive for county employees to get the covid 19 vaccination. “It’s still their choice, but we encourage people, I think the positives outweigh the negative, it’s been proven if you had the shots and get covid symptoms is a lot less severe,” Holland said. Under the policy, county employees who get the vaccine and then come down with covid, get ten days of sick leave. Those who opt to not get the shot will have to use regular paid sick leave if they get the virus. Holland says the policy is patterned after last year’s federal mandate, giving employees who contract the virus, ten extra days of sick leave. Not long after the policy change, we heard from county employees who were upset about the policy. However, they all declined to go on camera because they feared retribution. Dan Gale ran an unsuccessful bid for the district one supervisor seat in the last election and follows county politics. He believes the policy punishes employees over a personal health decisions. “I don’t think somebody should be bribed or coerced into something they wouldn’t normally ordinarily do, especially when it comes to feeding your family and have to make a decision, to say ‘hey, do I need to take this so I can go to work and get paid?” Gale said. The new policy does not apply to any employee who cannot take the shot because of a medical issue. There has also been talk among some employees about taking legal action to halt the covid sick leave policy. Holland says the Three Rivers Planning and Development District has a similar policy. We checked with Tupelo and Lee County Schools and they have not changed their sick-leave policies

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