HB 1167 Provides Paid Administrative Leave to Vaccinated Employees for Absences related to COVID-19 and Requires Payment to Support Staff on Days of School Closure
Yesterday, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a revised version of HB 1167, which provides paid administrative leave, with no deduction of sick leave days, to fully vaccinated teachers for absences related to COVID-19. Governor Pritzker had earlier vetoed a version of this law that provided such leave to all teachers, regardless of vaccination status.
The law requires public school districts, charter schools, and public universities to reimburse all sick leave taken by fully vaccinated teachers and employees during the 2021-2022 school year if the leave was taken due to a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, being identified as a “close contact” of an individual with COVID-19, or due to a required exclusion from school due to COVID-19, either experienced by the employee or a child of the employee. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the Act as two weeks after receiving the initial vaccination doses, and could later include the booster if the definition is changed by IDPH and the CDC. Employees who are not yet fully vaccinated may still qualify for the reimbursement if they provide proof of full vaccination within five weeks of the effective date of the bill. HB 1167 also provides that, should the definition of “fully vaccinated against COVID-19” later be changed by IDPH and the CDC, it will have no effect on the sick leave protections provided to school district staff under HB 1167 and a school district may not use such definition change as a basis to rescind reimbursement of sick leave.
HB 1167 also amended the Illinois School Code by adding a provision requiring school districts to pay educational support staff their regular rate of pay and benefits for any day of school closure or e-learning when the employee would have reported to school but for the school closure, if such day will not be made up later in the year. This provision applies to educational support staff employed directly by a public school district, and also requires districts to pay contractors who supply support staff employees to the district. There is no indication that this provision only applies to school closures or e-learning days related to COVID-19.
Should you have questions about how this bill affects your district, please reach out to your Franczek attorney.