6 staff members suing Unit 5 over COVID-19 policies

Local News
McLean County Unit 5_1508929294610.jpg

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — McLean County’s largest school district is being taken to court by some of its own employees.

In court documents, six staff members are suing the district over its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and masking policies. In it, the six staff members, Rachel Henderson, Ashley Defreese, Tracy Quattro, Laura Feely, Stacy Herren, and Lisa Jones, claim the rules violate their civil rights and their union agreement.

Currently, all staff must be vaccinated to work in the district or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19 per orders from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The documents also claim that Tracy Quattro has been locked out of her job and is no longer getting paid by the district. Others claim they are being “forced” to get COVID tests “against their wishes.”

In a statement, Unit 5’s attorney, Curt Richardson said they’ve received a signed copy of the complaint, but they haven’t been served.

“There are many procedural and substantive deficiencies with the complaint, and the district will respond accordingly,” a statement from Richardson reads.

Richardson adds in the statement that Unit 5 is complying with the governor’s orders and that staff members were aware of the guidelines.

“Pursuant to a letter of understanding with the Unit 5 education association, bargaining unit members who failed to comply with the executive order and emergency rules are docked pay,” the statement reads. “The actions taken by the district are consistent with that letter of understanding.”

A hearing is set for Thursday at 1:00 p.m.

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