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Fast-Tracked and Union Backed Legislation with Significant Fiscal and Labor Implications

Oct 26, 2021

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HB 2778 (Amendment 2), filed on October 21, 2021, is a union-backed initiative to legislate paid administrative leave for COVID-19 related absences, including absences due to a child’s positive test result or close contact quarantine. It would also mandate that all school district staff, including contracted staff, be paid for closures and e-learning days, and would retroactively restore sick leave days for COVID-19 absences since the start of the 2021-22 school year.

This bill could be passed by both Houses as early as this week. If signed into law, this bill will have a significant impact on the school district and community college budgets and staffing plans. We recommend that you contact your local legislators immediately to ensure they understand your perspective on the bill. A summary of the key provisions in House Bill 2778 is set forth below.

School Districts

  • Full Pay for School Closure. Requires school districts to make full payment to all educational support staff employees, and contractors that provide educational support services, on any day that the school is closed or on an e-learning day if the closure precludes them from performing their regularly scheduled duties and the employee would have reported to work but for the closure. 
  • Unlimited COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave for Fully Vaccinated Employees or Unvaccinated Employees That Submit to Weekly Testing.
    • Requires school districts to provide paid administrative leave to all employees during any period that the employee is restricted from being on school district property for a COVID-19 reason.
    • Requires school districts to provide paid administrative leave to any employee to care for a child who is unable to attend their elementary or secondary school because the child is a confirmed COVID-19 case, a probable COVID-19 case or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Retroactive Restoration of Sick Leave Days. Provides that school districts shall return to all employees any sick leave days used during the 2021-2022 school year for any absence related to COVID-19.

Community Colleges

  • Unlimited COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave for Fully Vaccinated Employees or Unvaccinated Employees That Submit to Weekly Testing.
    • Requires community colleges to provide paid administrative leave to all employees during any period that the employee is restricted from being on college property for a COVID-19 reason.
    • Requires community colleges to provide paid administrative leave to any employee to care for a child who is unable to attend their elementary or secondary school because the child is a confirmed COVID-19 case, a probable COVID-19 case or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Please contact Robbins Schwartz with questions.