To: [Activist Name]
Subject: Decision Tree for Leave Options
From: Cincinnati Federation of Teachers/CFOP
Reply To: email@example.com
Whether you return to teaching in-person is an individual decision that all teachers must make for themselves based on their own health and safety concerns and the concerns of their family. We don’t know how the District would respond if teachers refuse to teach in-person and have not requested a leave of absence, and we cannot assure you that your job, benefits, and pay would be secure if you refuse to report to work. But there are options:
- Do you have a physical or mental impairment covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – e.g., cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, a heart condition, BMI greater than 30, a pregnancy-related condition such as hypertension, sickle cell, diabetes, being in an immunocompromised state, major depressive disorder, bi-polar disorder, etc.) ?
If yes, email Benefits Manager Keith Grace ASAP and request an ADA Accommodation that allows you to teach remotely. Provide a copy of a doctor’s note to support your request. If the District cannot accommodate your request, you will be eligible to use sick leave until it is exhausted, and then can take uncompensated leave. *
If no, go to #2.
- Are you ill, injured, pregnant, or under COVID quarantine? Are you taking care of an ill or injured member of your immediate family (parent, stepparent, child, spouse, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunt, uncle, nephew niece)?
If yes, email Benefits Manager Keith Grace ASAP and request a paid medical leave of absence. Include a note from your medical provider with your request.
(Remember that depression, stress, anxiety, and other emotional and mental problems are illnesses which entitle you to take sick leave. If you are suffering from a mental illness or emotional condition that prevents you from reporting to work, you may wish to contact the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) for help.)
If no, go to #3.
- If you are don’t believe you are eligible for sick leave, but you don’t want to return to in-person teaching until the health and safety conditions improve, email Keith Grace and request an unpaid leave of absence – e.g., until the second dose of the vaccine reaches its full efficacy.
If you have questions about your particular situation, we are happy to advise. Bear in mind that we are receiving a deluge of calls and emails, so please allow us a couple of days to respond to your call or email.
*Sick Leave Advance: Any teacher whose sick leave is exhausted shall receive an advance of 5 days in the pay period in which loss of pay would otherwise occur. A teacher is eligible for an advance of up to an additional 15 days of sick leave under certain conditions. (See CBA p. 34). That request should be accompanied by a physician’s statement and emailed to HR Director Paul McDole.