Travis County approves incentive for employees to get vaccinated: 16 extra hours of personal leave

Travis County

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County Commissioners approved a new incentive program that gives county employees 16 extra hours of personal leave: an incentive for getting at least two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Employees who have already received their vaccine do qualify, commissioners decided Tuesday. Elected officials do not qualify.

Part-time and special project employees will be given prorated time off depending on regular hours worked.

In an item posted on the Travis County Commissioners Court agenda for Tuesday, it says employees would have until the end of June 2022 to get their vaccine but commissioners said they wanted that timeline to be shortened.

Commissioners decided that they would rather give existing employees until the end of October to receive their vaccine should they want the additional time off and new hires would have 45 days to get vaccinated. They said all of those details would be shared widely with staff.

“We want to send a message, this is a benefit you will get if you do the thing that society most needs you to do now,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said of shortening that time period.

The program could cost the county roughly $4 million, according to Shannon Weidauer, Travis County Human Resources Director for Travis County. That number could be much lower depending on the number of people who are unvaccinated. The county has no way of recording that right now, she said.

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