AFSCME Local 4041 response to proposed state employee COVID-19 workplace policies updated July 30,2021

AFSCME Local 4041 has received numerous calls from state employees regarding the updated COVID-19 workplace policies proposed by the Governor on July 30, 2021.  

To discuss this policy in more detail we have requested a meeting with the Labor Relations Unit and representatives from the Governor’s office prior to August 15, 2021, to allow an opportunity to make appropriate changes prior to the implementation date. 

Local 4041 has identified the following concerns and proposes the following changes:  


  • Our concern with the statement of “Noncompliance with the mask policy for state employees is a cause for disciplinary or corrective action pursuant to NAC 284.650(19)” is that pre-determining JUST CAUSE cannot be done objectively. 

  • Our concern with the statement of “Noncompliance with the testing policy for state employees is a cause for disciplinary or corrective action pursuant to NAC 284.650(19)” is that pre-determining JUST CAUSE cannot be done objectively. 

  • Non-compliance with U.S. EEOC COVID testing memo issued June 28, 2021 

Proposed Changes to Masking and Testing:  

  • Ensure that all departments and its individual divisions have available masks on hand if an employee requests one 

  • Since weekly COVID-19 testing is going to be a requirement by the state, we would request that state employees be given administrative leave to get this done.  As we anticipate that all agencies will not adhere to the release time recommendation.  

  • We need to discuss the process to ensure that there is zero out of pocket cost for weekly testing to any state employee, as this is a now a requirement by the state.  

  • Employee training for COVID-19 testing to allow on-site testing at each agency. 

  • Clarify the testing requirements for remote workers, as some agencies are citing that Telecommuting workers are also subject to the required weekly testing.   

  • Address what type of tests are going to be required (i.e., instant result/lab based)? 

  • Provide a possible monetary incentive to those who have gotten or get the vaccine. 

Proposed Changes to Remote Working/Telecommuting: 

  • Due to the recent COVID-19/Delta Variant crisis in our state we feel the governor’s office should require agencies to immediately revert to remotely working from home with as many state employees as soon as possible.  This practice was successful in numerous ways to mitigate the threat of the COVID-19 virus at the worksite and prevented many state employees from taking the virus home to their family (sometimes elderly parents or persons with underlined conditions).  

Proposed Changes to Leave Policies:  

  • Administrative leave must be available for all state employees who become infected with the COVID-19 virus to allow for a proper quarantine period, not just vaccinated employees.  By telling state employees who are not vaccinated that they must use their personal sick leave, this poses a serious health concern, as employees will just come to work knowing they have symptoms or are in-fact carrying the COVID-19 virus to avoid draining their sick leave (major safety concern). 

  • If there is a false positive test and the employee goes out on his/her sick leave, then the employee later finds out that through a new test that it was negative, that would create an unfair leave issue.  Which is another reason to provide administrative leave for all state employees.    

Local 4041 will always fight to ensure all workers have a safe workplace and respect on the job. We look forward to future discussions with our employer about keeping workers, and the public we serve, safe.