- Company Name: Chicago Public Schools
Location: Chicago, IL
Job Type: Full-time
- Salary: $50,000 – $66,000 a year
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is one of the largest school districts in the United States, serving over 330,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments – student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
The Absence and Disability Department within the Talent Office is responsible for processing all medical and non-medical leaves of absence, administering the AWOL (absent without leave) process, Short-Term Disability, Benefit Billing, Donation of Sick Days, Fitness for Duty and Reasonable Suspicion exams.
Reporting to the Manager of Employee Leaves, the Leaves Specialist will administer and coordinate all daily aspects of the Chicago Public School AWOL (absent without leave) process including maintaining and organizing all incoming manager requests when employees fail to report to work, providing ongoing communication via USPS, email, and phone with managers, employees and internal departments regarding absence status, and separation recommendations. The position requires knowledge of CPS policies, the Absence and Disability leave system, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and union affiliations. The position will support all Absence and Disability job functions including benefit billing, leave of absence approval, and sick day donations.
The Leaves Specialist will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
- Prioritize, organize and review AWOL reports from principals and managers regarding employees that are not reporting to work.
- Monitor and respond to all inbox inquiries and organize communications related to AWOL and leaves of absence.
- Conduct research and track AWOL employee absences.
- Generate and manage correspondence with managers and AWOL employees regarding employee absences. Answer correspondence, phone calls, and emails from employees, managers, and principals regarding the AWOL process.
- Work with the Office of Administrative Hearings on disciplining employees and respond to Law Department requests for files and information.
- Complete intake and processing for all leaves of absence including FMLA, short and long-term disability, CPS supplemental leaves, paid parental leave, and non-medical leaves in accordance with FMLA law, CPS Policy and Board Rules, CPS Short-Term Disability (STD) Plan, and Collective Bargaining Agreements.
- Serve as a liaison between the leave of absence program and other CPS departments, schools, and HR Business Partners. Provide advice and information on all aspects of the leave of absence and Short-Term Disability programs.
- Analyze medical information per FMLA law, STD Plan, Board policy, and collective bargaining agreements. Familiarity with ODG and FMLA guidelines. Input ICD codes accurately.
- Research and resolve employee inquiries about leaves of absence and discrepancies with a payout of the STD benefit. Escalate STD appeals and FMLA second opinions. Collaborate with team members to complete all transactions.
- Provide excellent customer service to employees going out on a leave of absence or requesting information about insurance, employment, and benefit entitlement.
- Develop a working knowledge of CPS leave policies, Short-Term Disability Plans, and employment policies.
- Interact with Payroll, the ADA Office, and other departments as needed on issues affecting compliance with all benefit plans, including projects related to collective bargaining agreements.
- Ensure HIPAA and ADA compliance and confidentiality of employee matters are maintained.
- Escalate issues as needed for corrections.
- Pursue and implement innovative ideas and methods for transactional processes that support benefits plans and services to improve staff submission of required documentation.
- Perform audits and compliance reviews to ensure data integrity and resolve errors.
- Participate collaboratively to assist with coordinating, organizing, and executing logistics for telephonic hearings, and support as needed.
- Identify and recommend transactional improvements to streamline internal processes, increase efficiency, and improve vendor performance.
- Stay abreast of emerging government regulations, and ensure staff information and records are kept confidential and handled in compliance with HIPAA.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Leave Specialist must possess the following qualifications:
- High school diploma or GED equivalent, required
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university preferred
- A minimum of one (1) year of human resource or leave of absence experience, is required.
- Knowledge of PeopleSoft, Oracle, and Google Suite, preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Customer service acumen. Results-oriented and able to work well in a fast-paced team environment.
- Detail-oriented self-starter with strong communication, problem-solving, critical thinking and interpersonal skills required.
- Strong leadership and team-building skills.
- Ability to build collaborative relationships with a variety of constituent groups, including external partners, to ensure the entire system operates in the most effective manner possible to support schools and principals.
- Ability to define problems, analyze data, and outline valid conclusions and action steps.
Conditions of Employment
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to:
- Establish/Maintain Chicago Residency – Employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district. The Chicago residency requirement does not apply to temporary/part-time positions, however, all CPS employees must be residents of Illinois.
- Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 – Unless approved for a medical or religious exemption, all employees are required to be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, and to submit proof of vaccination to the district within 30 days of hire. “Up-to-date” on vaccination is defined as being at least two weeks past all primary vaccine doses and any applicable boosters.