As America gears up for school to resume this fall, many school districts are wrestling with questions of whether to return to in-person learning or to stay online.
For teachers returning to the classroom, spiking cases across many states can seem like a daunting sign of things to come and can be particularly scary for those with underlying conditions who may be more susceptible to the virus.
If you are a teacher with underlying conditions and you are returning to the classroom this fall there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
First, make sure your school is following CDC recommendations for safe reopening. Although CDC guidelines are not federally mandated, they are the best practices available for keeping students and teachers safe during in-person learning.
Next, even if you never required an accommodation to perform your duties with your condition before, you may be able to get an accommodation to help you do your job during the pandemic. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers with over 15 employees to engage in an interactive process with disabled employees in order to find a reasonable accommodation that can help them to perform without causing an undue burden on the employer. However, it is important to note that your school isn’t required to give you the specific accommodation you request, just one that will reasonably protect you.
Finally, don’t forget that the CARES Act provides ten days paid leave for anyone who tests positive for the novel coronavirus or is needed at home to care for a loved one who has contracted the virus.
If you have questions about your options contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation with an employment lawyer.