From: CEA Legal Center
Date: September 16, 2020
RE: COVID-19 LEGAL FAQ Update
Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for specific legal or other professional advice. If you have specific questions about your legal or contractual rights, contact your Colorado Education Association union representative or local leader/representative. This guidance will be updated periodically based on new information and guidance, so please refer back to this link for the most current information.
This memorandum serves as a guidance to frequently asked questions presented to the CEA Legal team regarding how to respond to the unprecedented epidemic sweeping our nation. The FAQ’s will be updated as we address questions from the field. Please be patient and understand that these circumstances present new and uncharted areas of law. CEA Legal will provide the best advice it can based on its understanding of current law however, the law is unclear in many areas.
QUESTION: On August 18, 2020, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a document that includes education employees as falling within the nation’s “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.” What effect does this have on teachers and other public school employees in Colorado?
ANSWER: It has no legal effect at all. The document issued by CISA is purely advisory and informational. In fact, CISA itself states that its list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure” workers “is not, nor should it be considered, a federal directive or standard.”
However, the list is provided by CISA as advice and guidance to state and local public entities, including school districts and state agencies. Those entities could consider CISA’s list as informative or persuasive if and when they make further COVID-related decisions about educational employees.