City of Minneapolis employees who have been working from home during COVID-19 now have until Feb. 14 to return to the office.
Their return-to-work day has been postponed after department heads informed staff earlier this month that they were due back Jan. 10, despite Mayor Jacob Frey’s declaration of a local public health emergency allowing City Council and commissions to remain virtual until mid-February.
Some staff took issue with being pressed back to the office amid high transmission rates of the Delta and Omicron variants, without a vaccination requirement and before other local governments and private companies had recalled personnel who could perform their work remotely.
“The City continues to balance the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation with its plans to bring employees back to the office,” said city spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie on Tuesday. She noted that staff’s new return date will coincide with the expiration of the mayor’s latest emergency order. “This delay will allow for full implementation of testing protocols and give the City more than 30 days from likely holiday gatherings to assess the status of the spread.”
About 60% of the city’s approximately 4,000 employees are essential workers who worked in person throughout the pandemic.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation staff are still expected to return to the office on Jan. 10. They will have a hybrid option of working remotely two days a week.
The Park Board president will decide when Park Board meetings return to in-person. A new board president will be elected at the Jan. 3 meeting.
St. Paul does not yet have a return-to-office day for city staff.