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FSU To Bar Employees Working From Home To Care For Kids At The Same Time

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) - Working parents employed by Florida State University just had a bombshell dropped on them.

According to The Lilly, if they work from home they will no longer be able to care for their children at the same time.

In an email update sent to employees last Friday, the university included a "Remote Work Update."

"In March 2020, the University communicated a temporary exception to policy which allowed employees to care for children at home while on the Temporary Remote Work agreement," the email read. "Effective, August 7, 2020, the University will return to normal policy and will no longer allow employees to care for children while working remotely."

Many companies scrambled to adjust their policies around remote work and child care when the coronavirus pandemic hit. With schools and daycares closed, and their employees working from home, employers realized they had to be flexible when it came to work and child care.

As the school gears up to reopen in the fall, Florida State said many employees will have to come up with an alternative child care arrangements.

"If employees do not have daycare options or choose not to send their children to school in the fall, they should work with their supervisors to identify a flexible work schedule that allows them to fulfill their work duties and their family responsibilities," Renisha Gibbs, associate vice president for human resources at FSU, wrote in a statement provided to The Lily.

Caitlyn Collins, a sociologist who studies gender and families at Washington University in St. Louis, said the change in policy will certainly impact female employees at FSU. She said the policy change could cause some to step back from work or quit.

"When families aren't able to find other forms of child care — or don't feel comfortable sending their kids outside of the home every day, exposing them to possible infection — women are more likely to make a professional sacrifice," said Collins told The Lilly.

After getting backlash on social media, on Monday the university gave an update. They specified that the policy only "applies to employees whose job duties require them to be on campus full-time during normal business hours," and specifically excludes professors.

Some FSU employees said this only made things worse because the policy targets workers who don't have the job security of tenured professors.

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