VIERA, Florida – Brevard Public Schools (BPS) is committing to providing the option for COVID-19 related employee sick and family leave through June 30, 2021, even though the new pandemic relief bill passed by Congress last month no longer requires employers to offer this assistance.
The latest bill does not extend the sick or family leave mandates that were included in the previous pandemic relief package, which expired on December 31st. BPS will continue to voluntarily provide two weeks of paid leave to workers who become sick with COVID-19, or up to 12 weeks of family leave to employees unable to work due to child-care needs.
“It is essential that our 9,000 employees continue to have the flexibility and peace of mind to stay home without having to utilize their sick time or lose pay,” said School Board Chair, Misty Belford. “We have already seen the benefit that having paid COVID leave has had in helping keep our students and staff safe while minimizing the spread of the virus.”
“As we remain committed to supporting our employees as best we can through these extraordinary times, I believe we must do what’s right and continue to offer COVID-related paid leave, even as we face our own economic uncertainty as a district.” said BPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Mullins. “It is our responsibility to do whatever we can to help ease their burden, as they continue to put our kids’ physical and academic well-being first.”
Board Vice-Chair Matt Susin added, “Consistently, teachers and our education system as whole seem like an afterthought. Here in Brevard, we are stepping up to maintain this assistance for our employees even without a federal mandate. I commend Superintendent Mullins for taking this important action.”
BPS employees will continue to follow the district’s current guidelines for applying for COVID-19 leave. If that has already been used, they will use their personal/sick time unless the COVID-19 virus was determined to be work-related, in which case a Worker’s Compensation claim may be filed.