JONESBORO — Employees of the City of Jonesboro are receiving added incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Dewayne Douglas, the city’s human resources director, announced the incentive program on Friday in an email to employees.
The state Legislature enacted Act 1002, which bans public schools and local governments from requiring vaccinations of employees, and Bill Campbell, the city’s communications director, said the administration doesn’t know how many employees have been vaccinated.
“We may find out through this program,” Campbell said.
Under the program, all employees who have been fully vaccinated against the virus will receive an extra paid day off, which can be taken between now and March 1, 2022.
The employee must provide proof of vaccination, Douglas said in the email.
“Additionally, if an employee is vaccinated and must miss work due to a positive COVID diagnosis or placed in quarantine by a physician, they may use COVID Pay instead of using their own accruals for days missed,” Douglas wrote. “Also, from April 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021, employees who tested positive for COVID or were placed in quarantine and had to use their accruals will be allowed to use CPVID pay if they were fully vaccinated during this period. HR will reimburse the employee their accruals. Employees must show proof of having received the vaccine to their manager.”
Full time employees could receive up to 80 hours of COVID pay if forced into quarantine or otherwise had to be off work. Firefighters, who work 24-hour shifts, would get up to 106 hours.
Campbell said the incentive program is funded through the American Relief Plan Act, which was passed this year by Congress.
A circuit judge in Pulaski County ruled Act 1002 unconstitutional after some parents and school districts challenged the law. Legislative leaders and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge are appealing the ruling to thee state Supreme Court.