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CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago School Board is considering a rule that would give the head of Chicago Public Schools the authority to make getting the COVID-19 vaccine a condition for employment within CPS.

The school board is set to vote on the rule Wednesday. The rule would also allow CPS to call on employees to report to work in person.

The police would give CPS CEO Janice Jackson the authority to possibly mandate the vaccine as a condition of employment. The Chicago Teachers Union is already pushing back, even though CTU spent months fighting for its members to receive vaccinations before returning to school.

"We believe there is an obligation to bargain with the union over things that are conditions of employment and we should expect the board to bargain with us about this," said CTU President Jesse Sharkey.

The policy also includes a provision that requires CPS employees to show proof they've received a vaccine.

"I suspect the board is trying to figure out who is vaccinated so they can force people back into school buildings, we have real worries about that," Sharkey said.

Regardless of motive, labor law experts say employers can legally mandate proof of vaccination.

"But, they need to make sure that proof doesn't have any information regarding disabilities or genetic information," said Margo Wolf O'Donnell, co-chair at Benesch Law Labor & Employment.

O'Donnell is working with several employers to craft vaccination policies. She said it is legal for companies to mandate vaccines as long as the police is subject to certain accommodations.

"They could be disability related accommodations or accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs, so it requires that employers and employers talk through these issues," she said.

The CPS policy does include accommodations.

Even if the school board passes it, the district said it will not enforce a vaccine mandate right away. CTU is urging the board to reject the proposal so the union and the district can go back to the bargaining table and craft a vaccine policy together.

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Tags: chicago public schools education school board coronavirus chicago chicago public schools chicago teachers union covid 19 vaccine chicago school board the school board the school board the authority school board to bargain for employment employment employees the board the district a condition the chicago

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LAWSUIT: Lenape Valley Schools Superintendent Alleges Age Discrimination

The Superintendent of Lenape Valley Schools has filed a lawsuit against the regional board of education with allegations of harassment and ageism.

Paul DiRupo says his contract as district superintendent was not renewed because the Lenape Valley Regional Board of Education President Richard Kuncken told him the group was “going younger,” according to a suit filed in Sussex County Superior Court.

The comment was made after a meeting among board members regarding their decision not to renew DiRupo’s contract.

DiRupo, 64, says he was further discriminated against due to his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, reports.

Kuncken is accused of targeting DiRupo after he “continually harassed and treated (DiRupo) in a disparate” way, according to the suit, which also names Kuncken and other board members.

DiRupo has worked with the district for more than three decades and has held his position as superintendent since 2013, the report says.

The suit seeks lost income and pension contributions as well as pain and suffering and humiliation, the outlet reports.

The district agreed to pay a settlement of $55,000 in 2019 after a former assistant principal alleged mistreatment by DiRupo and other district officials.

Click here for the full report. 

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