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Church Hill clarifies family leave benefits for city employees

Jeff Bobo • Nov 27, 2017 at 7:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — The Church Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a resolution last Tuesday that clarifies employee benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act.

The new language reads, “The employer will maintain health insurance benefits paid by the employer for the employee during periods of unpaid leave without taken pursuant to, and in accordance with, the Family Medical Leave Act certified by the city of Church Hill and subject to the time limitations set forth in (a later section of the resolution).”

That later section of the resolution references federal FMLA guidelines.

The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend to a serious health condition of the employee, parent, spouse or child; for pregnancy or care of a newborn child; or for adoption or foster care of a child.

Mayor Dennis Deal noted that an employee came into a city office recently and asked how long the city would pay his health insurance.

“This spells it out,” Deal said.

The change doesn’t reduce employee benefits, Deal noted.

He added, “That’s where we decided in our workshop that we would put it in writing that the city would pay FLMA benefits for 12 weeks (during a 12-month period). That’s the guidelines we’re under.”

City Attorney William Phillips added, “It doesn’t change at all what the policy of the city is. It just clarifies the policy.”

In other business last Tuesday, the BMA:

— Heard a report from Deal that Holston Electric has agreed to install a streetlight on Kingsport Press Road near the 11-W intersection if the city pays the electric bill. The new light won’t be at the intersection because that is state right of way, but Deal said it will be close enough to light that intersection, which he noted is very dark. In fact, Deal said, he will ask for two lights on that intersection.

— Approved a resolution increasing the seatbelt violation fine from $25 to $30, which was a statewide law change.               

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