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Since last month, the Sheriff’s Department has sent 209 employees home to quarantine because of exposure to the coronavirus, and issues over their pay have caused another squabble between Sheriff Alex Villanueva and county leaders.

In a letter Wednesday, Villanueva requested that the county’s chief executive secure retroactive pay for quarantined employees who he said have had to dip into their personal sick leave prior to Wednesday, when federal benefits for workers impacted by the virus took effect.

Villanueva said there was at least one employee exposed to the virus on patrol who had not accrued enough sick time to stay compensated through the quarantine period. It’s unclear if that person lost out on any pay, and if so, how much.

“The first responders from the Sheriff’s Department sacrifice their lives for the residents of Los Angeles County every day,” he wrote. “The least we can do is fully compensate these men and women for their daily sacrifices by covering their COVID-19 related absence from work.”

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