After 14 employees tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), MARTA announced it will give workers affected by it an extra 80 hours of paid sick leave.
That decision is part of the transit agency’s response to the virus, which includes implementing the new mandates around Emergency Family and Medical Leave outlined in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. MARTA is still offering bus and rail service but in a modified way.
According to an April 9 news release, 14 MARTA workers self-reported a positive test for the virus, and 183 employees are not working due to the risk of exposure.
Most MARTA employees are represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732. The current labor agreement provides for 96 hours of paid sick time annually and one to six weeks of vacation, depending on seniority.
“We understand how difficult it is to be an essential public worker during this pandemic,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in the release. “As we all adapt to this new normal, I want to do everything I can to protect the health of our employees and our customers while continuing to provide essential transit service.
“I appreciate the ongoing collaboration with (the union’s) local president, Britt Dunams, as each week brings new challenges to resolve around operations, service levels and employee issues.”
Also, because of a change regarding advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the use of masks and face coverings, MARTA is giving disposable masks to all employees not able to work from home starting April 10.
The emergency paid leave applies to any employee who is:
♦ experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis
♦ advised by MARTA to self-quarantine due to risk of exposure to COVID-19 as a result of close contact with a COVID-19 affected co-worker
♦ advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to underlying personal health conditions or other personal reasons
♦ caring for an individual who is required to quarantine
♦ caring for the employee’s dependent child if the child’s school or place of care is closed
For more information on MARTA’s response to COVID-19, including a list of where each employee who tested positive worked, visit www.itsmarta.com/covid-19-public-info.aspx.