We understand the challenges ahead for certain employees due to the ongoing closure of K-12 schools. Some families may be more affected by others and every situation is case specific.
Whatcom County is committed to providing clear options for employees to consider during these challenging times. Please review and discuss any needs with your supervisor as soon as possible. It is important for us all to work together to balance reasonable flexibility within policy and the continuity of our services to the public.
Please call your Human Resources Representative, as needed, to assist you with consideration of options.
Modifications to the hours and basic workday or workweek may be requested to accommodate a different schedule.
Emergency Sick and Family and Medical Leave (EFML) - Expires 12/31/2020
Employees may submit a COVID-19 Leave Request Form.
Employees may use sick leave due to Public Health closures of school or child care facilities per RCW 49.26.210 and County Policy – Offering Paid Sick Leave.
Vacation/PTO, Compensatory Time
Employees may use other accruals, as approved, to request time off from work.
Employees may request unpaid leave according to County Policy – Requesting Unpaid Time Off. This includes 80 hours per calendar year of voluntary unpaid furlough administered by Department Heads.
COVID-19 Leave Sharing
Employees who have exhausted their leave accruals may request leave donations for absences due to public health closure of school or care facilities per County Policy – Administering Leave Sharing During the COVID-19 Event. Employees may donate any amount of leave.
Whatcom County departments have continued essential services during the Governor's Stay at Home order (March 25) with offices closed to the public. Leaders are now preparing for the transition back to public access as appropriate following the Governor's phased approach to re-opening. County departments provide a wide range of services so department activities and phases will vary.
Below are resources and sample plans for the transition process. These are subject to change based on new information and operational needs.
Request to Develop Physical Distancing Plans - April 30
"Although we don't anticipate a full return to work on site with full public access to departments, we do anticipate a gradual transition back. In the coming weeks, please start thinking about the steps your department would take in developing and implementing a Physical Distancing Plan (framework and template attached) to ensure staff and public safety. Prevention ideas can be found with the current CDC guidelines and Best Practices as well as the Department of Labor & Industries. If physical changes to work spaces are requested, please work with Facilities and IT, as appropriate."
Governor's Safe Start Recovery Plan - May 4
Superior Court Administrative Order - Courthouse Public Areas - May 8
Public Defender Physical Distancing Plan - May 28
Public Works COVID-19 Operating Plan - June 4; updated June 12, Oct 19
Operating Plan for Field Work - June 4; updated Oct 19
Permit Center Re-Opening Plan - DRAFT - June 5
Administrative Services Work Safe COVID-19 Operating Plan - June 24
Teleworking refers to working from remote locations, rather than the usual workplace. Teleworkers normally use computers and other technologies to accomplish job tasks.Most information-based jobs are appropriate for teleworking. Teleworking is ideal for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data, and talking on the phone. Some jobs that may not seem appropriate at first may be modified temporarily so that employees can telework.
An employee may discuss options for telework with their supervisor including a proposal of work to be performed and equipment requirements.