Not sure if I should post this in "soapbox" or "please help" as I have a rant and a question.
In brief, we need to go back to the office later this summer. OK, was expecting that. Not happy about it, but I'm not surprised.
However, I work with a couple of people who have younger kids who haven't been able to find child care for the summer. At least one has a spouse with zero flexibility, the job can only be done in person with fixed hours. They have no family locally., They've been told they have no option, they have to come to the office.
So that's the rant part. The question part is - can my office mandate a full return for people in this position? They've been doing great work remotely. Their job does not really require a physical presence at all. A lot of times they just sit in their offices all day, no meetings, nothing to justify being there in person.
Also does FMLA cover this?
I have only one child, who is fully grown so this is not one of those "asking for a friend ...." type comments. I really am furious on behalf of my co-workers. It's just wrong & stupid IMO.
In discussions / planning for return to my workplace, there has been mention of accommodations for those who have conditions that make them more vulnerable, and for hardship related to childcare and caring for other family members.
Perhaps they can try a request for accommodations from HR?
I suggested HR but person is afraid of being first in line for the chopping block if there are budget cuts. Their call of course. I don't think it is a realistic fear but I guess I understand being worried. We lost a lot of staff last year. Ultimately they will have to go to HR though unless they decide to leave the kid home alone (not happening) or quit.
I totally sympathize, and feel I could easily work from home forever, but it really doesn't seem likely that employers can be forced to accommodate people working remotely.
Doesn't seem like a winnable situation. Gotta negotiate or move on, I think.
Is the person's position covered by collective bargaining? If so their union may be able to help.
We are not unionized at our level. But we have union employees in other roles. I wonder what their local is working on. Their negotiations often end up as a win even for the non-union people.
The paranoid in me wonders whether is a ploy to get people to quit so that they don't have to eliminate more jobs or pay severance.
yes, employers can demand employees come to work. FMLA probably wouldn't cover it as there is no new child (birth/adoption) or illness. People were allowed to use leave during the declared emergency, but that likely doesn't count anymore.
the parent needs to do what parents did pre pandemic. arrange child care/summer camp. they have to keep looking. I babysat through high school, maybe a high school student will do it (or a couple so they aren't tied to a full time job all summer..they can alternate every few days). what about summer camps? are they all full?
unless there is a legit medical issue that falls under ADA, asking for a favor is a big risk...its a risk even if t were an ADA issue.
They live in Bergen Co. and have looked as far as near here (Hillside) and found nothing. They were very upset when talking to me. I assume they will keep looking and I hope the best for them.i get it about legally not having a leg to stand on. But I hate my employer right now. Lots of talk, talk, talk about inclusivity but clear barriers to parents. I.e. it is great to be Black, but not a Black parent or any other kind of parent. Not for nothing, women are more likely to take the blow on this one. And disability is another issue, clearly not thought of WRT inclusivity.
How hard would it be to give people leeway for ONE MONTH for goodness sake? They can do their jobs and do them well from home.
I think if they request a temporary accommodation for just a month or two, it's less likely they would end up on the chopping block. And also, might have a case if they are laid off during/shortly after.
The reality is that risks to children now are far less than during flu season. Most people with children still go to work during flu season, right?
notupset said:The reality is that risks to children now are far less than during flu season. Most people with children still go to work during flu season, right?
IF they have child care, which is still in short supply - especially for the summer months when schools are closed.
If businesses or parents pay enough, child care is available. Probably have to pay $20 an hour at least, but if you pay enough, they will come.
Yes they can demand it. If the employee can't do it, it's time to look for a new job.
Yes, it can be required. The question should shift to how they can find childcare if collective bargaining or individual request(s) for an extension don't work. Do the children have friends whose parent(s) will home and who will be willing to have one or more of the children spend the day with them? Is there a trusted neighbor who is willing and able to look after the children while the parents are at work? Does the employer have an employees assistance program that can help with referral to childcare services available for the child[ren]'s age group? What are other employees with young children who find themselves in a similar situation doing?
HatsOff said:They live in Bergen Co. and have looked as far as near here (Hillside) and found nothing. They were very upset when talking to me. I assume they will keep looking and I hope the best for them.i get it about legally not having a leg to stand on. But I hate my employer right now. Lots of talk, talk, talk about inclusivity but clear barriers to parents. I.e. it is great to be Black, but not a Black parent or any other kind of parent. Not for nothing, women are more likely to take the blow on this one. And disability is another issue, clearly not thought of WRT inclusivity. How hard would it be to give people leeway for ONE MONTH for goodness sake? They can do their jobs and do them well from home.
It sounds like if enough employees made their position(s) known on this, your employer might be compelled to make accommodations.
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