How Employers Can Prepare For Back-To-School Season During COVID-19
Parents have their usual checklists for books and supplies for their student’s school year. But quite a bit has changed since this time last year. Many parents have been put in the seat of teachers/tutors during the day while students are engaged in distance learning. Employers have a number of things they may need to consider and prepare during this back-to-school season as well…
#1. Family First Coronavirus Reponse Act
Employers should consider how this may impact their employees. Employees with school-aged children may be eligible for both paid leaves under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (Reason #5) and Emergency FMLA.
Employers should make certain the request forms are available and provided to employees with such a need. All employees are eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave, employees must have been with the company for 30 calendar days to be eligible for Emergency FMLA. Employees must return their completed request forms along with documentation verifying school or childcare closure.
#2. Time off for School Activities
California employers should review criteria for Time off for School Activities. This leave applies to businesses with 25 or more employees; for any employee who is the parent/guardian of a student attending a licensed daycare or in grades K-12. This allows for 40 hours of unpaid time off in a calendar year.
#3. Flexible Work Schedules
Flexible work schedules are a common topic, still. Consider whether you can identify core hours when it is imperative that employees are on-site, in-office, etc. Perhaps hours outside of that time can be conducted from home in a telecommuting capacity. Be as flexible as possible, encouraging employees to get their work done in the hours available (of course, while accurately recording all time engaged in work).
If flexibility is hard to achieve, and telecommuting is not an option for a given position, then perhaps a reduction of hours is necessary. This can serve as a temporary solution to avoid a messy separation.