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Families First Coronavirus Response Act may help working parents juggle distance learning

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is meant to help working parents get paid time off while they stay at home to help their child with distance learning.

CALIFORNIA, USA — Melissa West is a full-time working mom who usually relies on her 2nd grader heading to daycare after school. But now, her 7 year old will have to do her distance learning from daycare .

“They are going to try really hard to keep them on track, which I’m very fortunate that I have that because without that I don’t know what I could do because I have to work," West said. "I can’t just stay at home and distance learn."

Kelly Stout also works full time and her daughter is starting kindergarten. However, her child’s daycare is not providing any support when it comes to distance learning. That means she will have to find time after work to teach her child.

“Our goal, obviously, is to participate in as much [of] the recorded instruction as possible... I honestly, at this point, don’t even know what it will look like,” Stout said.

Employment law attorney Jennifer Shaw said working parents can get 12 weeks of paid time off to help their students with distance learning through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

“In terms of pay, they are paid two-thirds of their regular rate of pay, and there are specific ways that that rate will be calculated depending on whether the employee has a set schedule,” Shaw said.

Shaw said a parent only needs to do two things to get the paid time off. They have to prove their child is distance learning and that they are the only one who can stay home to help.

“All the employee has to do, in providing that they work for an employer with fewer than 500 employees, they are just going to go to their HR department and say listen I need this time off,” Shaw said .

To receive the benefits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, an employee needs to have worked for the company for at least 30 days and the law is only valid through December 31st of this year.


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