Maureen Alley, communications director
Paid Sick Leave, Commitment to Pay During Pandemic
Wisconsin Youth Company continues pandemic sick leave and commits to pay if programs close
Madison, Wisconsin (January 7, 2022) — Wisconsin Youth Company continues its commitment to the safety and well-being of its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding its Emergency Paid Sick Leave through June 2022, and committing to pay staff when programs close due to the pandemic.
Originally adopted in April 2020 by the U.S. Department of Labor with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, this COVID-19 paid leave expired March 31, 2021. Wisconsin Youth Company continued offering this pandemic-focused sick leave after it expired federally in March 2021. Originally planned to expire in December 2021, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to end much less wane. In fact, the Omicron variant hitting the United States in January 2022 has the country — especially the state of Wisconsin — seeing record positive case numbers.
“We take the health and safety of our staff seriously. It is important that our staff continue to feel supported through this pandemic. Whether it’s when they take off work to care for someone who has COVID-19, if they themselves get the virus, or our programs close because of COVID-19, we want our employees to know that they are valued and supported,” says Rebecca Carlin, executive director, Wisconsin Youth Company.
Under this leave, employees can take a paid leave of absence in addition to other paid leave provided by the organization. This benefit is offered to both full- and part-time staff.
Additionally, Wisconsin Youth Company has received federal relief dollars that allows it to continue to pay staff when programs close. Families receive credits when programs are closed due to COVID-19. However, federal relief dollars allow Wisconsin Youth Company to continue operating and supporting its staff.
“Without the federal relief, it would be a challenging financial burden for our organization,” Carlin says. “This exact reason is why a lot of other childcare centers closed during the pandemic.”
The health and safety of children, families, staff, and the community are the number one priority of the organization. This starts with being a good steward in the community and supporting its employees during this difficult time.