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Expectant Teachers Await Supreme Court Maternity Ruling

The Illinois Supreme Court is taking up the case of teacher who is seeking to recover pay for accrued sick leave that she used after the birth of a child. District officials in the western Chicago suburb of Wood Dale refused to grant Margaret Dynak’s request at the end of the school year in 2016 to use the leave time she’s built up without providing a medical excuse thanks to the intervening summer break. Officials from the Illinois Education Association say the ruling could have beneficial impact for union members statewide.

That’s because a caveat in the Illinois School Code permits teachers to use sick time for post-natal recovery absent the need for a doctor’s dispensation. Dynak wanted to claim the pay following the birth of her second child in June but was told she was eligible only to receive a portion of those wages. After District 7’s requirement that she provide an excuse for the remainder given that her third-grade classes at Westview Elementary would begin again the following September found favor with lower courts, the association took the case to Springfield.  Dynak also is the subject of a second suit over the same issue, filed after her third child was born in 2018.