Superior, Douglas County create emergency policies

New policies allows governments to send sick employees home.

Government Center in Superior
Government Center, Superior, Wisconsin. (Jed Carlson /
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

The City of Superior and Douglas County made changes to their personnel policies in the wake of the new coronavirus.

The city’s Human Resources Committee on Monday, March 16 and Douglas County Board on Thursday, March 19, adopted the emergency policies.

The policies allow both units of local government to send employees home if they are suffering an acute respiratory illness from an infectious disease.

The goal of the policy is to protect the workplace and public health during an outbreak.

Under the policy, employees are asked to reduce the risk of transmission by staying home when they have symptoms such as a fever accompanied by a cough or sore throat, runny nose, body aches, chills and fatigue. Employees are asked not to return to work until they are free of fever and other symptoms for at least 24 hours without the aid of symptom-altering medications.


Telecommuting requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis for eligible positions.

The new policies also allow the employees to collect paid sick leave benefits or take time off without pay if the benefits have not been accrued, but Superior and Douglas County may advance paid leave in the event of a designated emergency.

“I’m still committed to paying people their regular salary if we send them home by executive order,” Mayor Jim Paine said last week.

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