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Princeton Public Schools has received 93 requests from staff to work from home because of concerns about the coronavirus. To date, PPS has granted "work from home" assignments for 22 staff members. An additional three teacher requests were approved but not utilized. In total, 25 "work from home" administrative home assignment have been approved as of October 13. PPS has also created a form, Accommodation Reconsideration Medical Certification, available for staff members who request to work from home.

Requests for Accommodations

 

 

 

93

 

Total requests

Requests to work from home due to childcare needs. Certified Staff=2; Support Staff=1. All were denied as they have FFCRA options, not work from home options. 

34 

Requests to work from home due to a family members’ underlying condition. Certified Staff=25; Support Staff=9. 

51 

Request to work from home due to a staff members’ personal underlying condition. Certified Staff=37; Support Staff=14.. 

Request for additional PPE. All are being approved. 

Accommodation Reconsideration Form

About 34 percent of students opt for Remote Learning: School-by-School Data

Legal Opinion on Work From Home Requests

How Did PPS Decide to Grant Work-From-Home Permissions? What Criteria Were Used?

PPS sent two surveys out in the spring to get a read as to how many employees would be asking to work from home.

Subsequently, PPS staff were directed to complete the HR paperwork and start the interactive dialogue about accommodations. Staff filled out a preliminary form and in most cases also provided medical documentation.

In August, once it was decided that NJ schools would be all-remote to start, all accommodations were denied via letter because PPS was in an all-remote mode. The letter stated that employee requests would be kept on file and reviewed once PPS found out if schools would open for in-person learning. This letter also noted that requests made due to a family member's illness were "courtesy requests" and not something that could be covered by the ADA.

On August 21, 2020, Board counsel supplied PPS with an opinion letter. On August 22, that opinion was supplied to the full Board. On August 25, 2020, the Board counsel spoke during closed session to further explain his opinion to the Board. Board votes in public 8-0-1 for PPS to follow counsel's opinion.

On August 31, letters went home to employees who requested to work from home due to a family member's illness; these requests were by necessity denied, as employees are not entitled to this accommodations under the ADA.  All staff members were invited to reach out to PPS Human Resources for a meeting if they had questions or wanted to speak further.

Based upon the Board's directive, on September 4, 2020 letters denying work from home accommodations due to their individual medical conditions were sent to staff members outlining PPS' thoughts regarding possible accommodations the district could make and describing options. All staff members were invited to reach out to PPS Human Resources for a meeting if they had questions or wanted to speak further.

Continuing the interactive dialogue, several people reached out for follow up meetings with PPS Human Resources Department. HR has had 30 follow up meetings with people to discuss individual situations. HR still frequently correspond with some of these people. An HR representative has met in mornings, evenings, and weekends as convenient for staff members.

On October 10, Human Resources met with PREA leadership to discuss 15 staff members that had special circumstances and for whom the union wanted to advocate. PPS agreed to allow these staff members to work from home contingent on filling out the Accommodation Reconsideration Form (see above).

 

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