HB 1167, the bill to create paid COVID administrative leave for educators, became law with Governor JB Pritzker’s signature on April 5, 2022. This ‘frequently asked questions’ document is designed to help determine who is eligible, for what reasons, and how to benefit from the new law.
1. Who is eligible for COVID administrative leave?
Every employee of a public school district, public university, and public community college who is fully vaccinated or has received the required doses to become fully vaccinated within five weeks of the effective date of the Act.
2. When do I need to be fully vaccinated, and what does that mean?
Educators need to be fully vaccinated by May 10th to be eligible. “Fully vaccinated” includes a booster if you don’t already have one. If you haven’t gotten any shots yet, you need one Johnson & Johnson shot or two rounds of the Moderna/Pfizer vaccine to be eligible.
3. How do I qualify for a paid COVID administrative leave?
You can use your paid administrative leave under this Act if you or your child (in elementary or secondary school) are required to be excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with a person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19. Paid administrative leave is also available when an employee is directed to be excluded from their workplace and misses work pursuant to the school or school district policy due to COVID-19 Symptoms. To qualify for leave because you are required to be out of school or must care for your school-aged child (elementary and secondary school), you need proof with a COVID lab test (PCR/NAAT) or an order from the school or local public health department because of a close contact. We are aware that CPS is taking the position that teachers with pre-k children are not eligible and we have pushed back on this. If we receive new information, we will share it.
4. I understand the bill is retroactive to the beginning of the year. How do I get my previously used sick days back?
To restore previously used days because of a positive case or quarantine for you or your child, you need to provide proof of a lab COVID test and/or documentation about the need for quarantine because of a close contact. To apply for the restoration of previously-used sick days, complete the form here no later than May 6th.
5. Are educators with vaccination exemptions eligible?
Exemptions are protected by federal law, so if you have an exemption, you should be eligible.
6. I used sick time during the 2021-2022 school year for a reason that was unrelated to COVID-19. Will the new law restore that leave?
No, this leave can only be used if you or your child are required to be excluded from school because of a positive COVID-19 test result or close contact with a person who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 or exclusion for COVID-19 symptoms in accordance with school district policy.
7. What about sick time I used for COVID in the 2020-2021 school year?
This bill only applies to absences related to COVID in the 2021-2022 school year.