What are parent’s legal employment options when their children are at home?
What are parent’s legal employment options during COVID when their children are at home? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Parents have a right to take up to 80 hours of EPSL and 12 weeks of EFMLA leave for school closures or the unavailability of the child’s usual place of care or care provider due to COVID-19. They do need to provide proper documentation to support their request, but that paperwork is very straightforward.
Whether a parent qualifies for leave will be highly dependent on the circumstances of their childrens’ schooling and how much attention they will require. There are a few conditions that have to be met before leave is available at all: first, the school must be “closed,” and second, the employee must be unable to work as a result of the care the child or children will require. And kids 15 and older are presumed to be capable of taking care of themselves, so leave is only available for older kids if there are special circumstances.
If children are back in school full-time on campus, then parents won’t have reason to take FFCRA leave (unless the child has an after school care provider that is closed due to COVID-19). If a school district instead has a blended schedule or has gone online-only, parents will be able to take time as needed on any day their child is schooling from home, because on those days the school is “closed” for the purpose and intent of FFCRA leave.
If parents are given a choice between online or in-person schooling and choose the online option, they are not entitled to leave under the FFCRA because the school is not physically “closed.” However, if they are choosing online-only instead of a partial in-person schedule, they would be able to take leave on the days when the child would have been schooling from home anyway, since the school is “closed” to all children on those days.
This article was authored by Kara Govro, Senior HR Law Analyst, and published on October 2, 2020 by Quora.