FCPS approves COVID-19 sick leave, but only for vaccinated employees

FCPS approves COVID-19 sick leave, but only for vaccinated employees
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:30 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Some Fayette County Public Schools employees are getting a little more flexibility if they get sick this year.

Monday night, the Fayette County School Board voted to approve five days of COVID-19 leave, but only for vaccinated employees. Those employees will be able to take those five days without having to go through any current or banked sick leave.

School board members debated whether or not one word “vaccinated” should be kept in that resolution and, ultimately, they decided - yes.

Board members agreed the five days of COVID time should be a reward for staff members who did get themselves vaccinated and protected against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

However, how to implement the program is what drew some debate.

“I feel like this, while well intended, is going to have some unintended consequences and cause some confusion,” said Stephanie Spires, FCPS board member.

Spires said simply saying “vaccinated employees” leaves the door open to interpretation on what is vaccinated. She says the CDC hasn’t made that definition easy either.

“It currently says for those eligible to have the vaccine, to have the vaccine and those eligible for boosters to have boosters, but it doesn’t specifically say how many boosters. If you have a booster, did you just have one? You know I’ve had two. Some people have had three. I feel like that is where we’re getting into a really gray, because now the CDC’s getting grayer and grayer,” Spires said.

Spires introduced a motion to remove the word “vaccinated” and just give the COVID time to all employees, regardless of if they’ve been vaccinated or not.

“But would that not allow people who are not vaccinated at all to take advantage of the policy, which, to me, would be counterproductive,” said Tom Jones, FCPS board member.

Ultimately, the board opted to leave the vaccination requirement in the motion and it passed.

The motion also covers employees whose children are required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID.