MEMPHIS, Tenn — The stress of deciding to go back to work or stay at home with your child during the virtual school year might be a little more manageable now. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, you can qualify for up to 12 weeks of 2/3 of your regular pay, if you are unable to work because due to reasons related to COVID-19.
Small business attorney Kevin Snider advises most workers "probably" qualify for this.
"Talk to your employer," Snider said. "Communication goes a long way and you’d be surprised if you communicate with your employer what potentially you could work out."
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the expanded family and medical leave provisions of this act apply to certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.
"The federal law is designed to protect parents in these types of situations," Snider said. "Unfortunately, this is a brand new type of law. It’s going to depend upon how the courts would ultimately interpret it. Are the schools closed or are the schools open with it being virtual?"
Snider said it can be interpreted that your child's school is "closed" if all classes are virtual. This relief is a temporary solution and cannot be renewed after the 12 weeks are used.
"At best this gives you maybe 12 weeks and that will maybe get you to the end of the first semester, but what do you do next year because that’s it," Snider said. "This isn’t something you get over and over and something you can reapply for."