More than 300 Cook County Jail employees called in sick during Game 7 of the NBA Finals
The Cook County Jail was placed on lockdown after 317 guards called in sick during Game 7 of the NBA Finals on June 19.
Smith said there’s nothing the jail can do about the call-offs because so many workers are invoking the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, for reasons such as headaches and back pain.
“Thirty percent of our officers have FMLA coverage, and 90 percent of that number are permitted to use it intermittently,” Smith said. “It’s a very tricky problem and I don’t know that there’s any particularly successful way of dealing with it. You can ask for a doctor’s note if you suspect that the person wasn’t sick, but in large jails like the Cook County Jail, it’s a matter of scale.”
The Mother’s Day absences cost the county $75,000 in overtime costs.
Smith said a lockdown is different from solitary confinement, and during a lockdown the inmates are still allowed to interact.
Sunday’s lockdown was lifted Monday morning.