HANCEVILLE — No one who works for the City of Hanceville has come down with the coronavirus. But if they do, the city is making sure they’ll have the resources to stay home while they recover.
At its regular meeting this week, the Hanceville City Council agreed to offer extended sick leave benefits to staff in the event that any employee tests positive for COVID-19. If an employee comes to work showing symptoms of the virus, they’ll immediately be sent for testing and, if they test positive, will receive 10 days of sick time on top of the mandatory two weeks away from work they must take while in recovery.
The new sick time change applies even to new employees who haven’t completed their otherwise-compulsory six-month probationary period, said mayor Kenneth Nail. That means recent hires will have the same access to sick time as colleagues who’ve been with the city for years.
The thinking behind the decision, said Nail, was to remove the pressure some employees might feel to keep earning a paycheck at a time when the focus should be on their health.
“If there’s a guy who’s already worried about paying the bills, it’s natural for that person to think, ‘I’ve still gotta go to work,’” said Nail. “But if they do that, they’re not gonna get better, and they’ll be affecting everybody around them. This hopefully will alleviate that kind of situation.”
So far, three Hanceville employees have been sent for COVID-19 testing, and in all three cases, the results have come back negative.