This afternoon, communication was sent regarding face masks and our commitment to providing you with a detailed update next week on how Belmark’s decision will impact our workforce.  In the meantime, I wanted to ensure all managers and supervisors understood that we will be ceasing COVID pay for employees who have absences related to COVID19 (unless positive).  The Task Force did not share our policy on paying employees for absences due to COVID19, so the information below is only being shared with managersIn next week’s communication, we will inform employees to treat any symptom as a general illness and contact their primary care provider and managers for guidance (I included some guidance below as a refresher).  Happy Friday, enjoy your weekends!


  • As many of you are aware, we had been tracking all COVID related cases, close contact, pending tests, etc.  Many of these instances resulted in pay, or partial pay for the employees involved.
  • Effective Monday, May 17th, we will no longer track this activity – employees and managers will NOT need to inform HR or Danielle about illness related absences* (She enjoyed working with you all but will enjoy the break!)  J
  • Effective Monday, May 17th, we will no longer pay for COVID absences
    • Should an employee test positive and need to be off of work due to illness, we will manage that through FMLA/STD as we do other illnesses.  Only positive tests need to be communicated to HR.
  • Only when someone tests positive will Belmark need to be informed
    • We do not need to be informed of pending tests, close contact concerns, family pending tests, etc.

*It’s been awhile since we’ve handled an illness simply as an illness!  Below are some guidelines to follow when an employee calls in sick.

  • Document it on their timesheet as you have other illnesses/absences
  • If they miss 4 or more scheduled work days, contact HR for guidance and/or paperwork
  • Doctor’s notes should not be requested as they do not negate an attendance issue
  • As managers, you have discretion to use paid time, i.e. vacation/personal time, when someone calls in sick
    • HR recommends using paid time prior to utilizing WOP
  • Frequent call ins, whether illness related or not (non-FMLA), are attendance issues and should be addressed with disciplinary action.  See HR for guidance!

The Task Force would like to thank all the managers and supervisors who have lead teams throughout the pandemic.  We have seen a barrage of changes, tons of communication, and enough “unique situations” to satisfy us for quite awhile.  Thank you for your flexibility, endurance, and leadership now, and as we continue to head into a pre-pandemic environment.

Should have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to a member of the COVID19 Task Force.