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New York State Lawmakers Consider Bill To Extend Paid Family Leave To Parents With Children In Remote Leaning

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Lawmakers in Albany are considering legislation that would throw working parents a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic.

It would allow them to take paid time off to take care of their children who are going to school virtually, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday.

Working parents always had to juggle, but now the juggling could cost them their jobs.

"I had to take time off... I was like, 'Oh my god. Is this going to affect my job?' said Sandhyia Gosine, a working, single mom.

Gosine is helping her 8-year-old daughter Isabella navigate remote learning while working full-time out of the house.

"We have to be there as their teachers, as a parent, as their school nurse," Gosine said.

Now, potentially game changing legislation to expand New York's paid family leave to working parents during the pandemic is on the table.

MORE: Remote Learning Centers Across Westchester Ease Working Parents' Minds By Keeping Kids Engaged In School

The proposal is the brain child of Johanna Garcia, a working mom, who says you shouldn't have to choose between your job and your child's education.

"The success of remote learning really, really relies on parents being involved," said Garcia, chief of staff to State Sen. Robert Jackson.

State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, another working mom, is sponsoring the bill.

"A parent can say OK I'm going to take off to ensure that my child is receiving a quality education. Then they still have their job protected," said Solages.

Schools: The New Normal

The bill provides 12 weeks off at two-thirds pay. It can be stretched out over time, but used only when schools are entirely remote.

Like other paid family leave for new parents and caregivers, it would be funded with tax credits for employers or payroll deductions for employees.

Advocates say it's needed to stem the exodus of women from the workplace due to school and child care issues.

"We're basically expecting moms to homeschool their children right now. So many of us are staying home and doing that and, at the same time, working," said Liuba Grechen Shirley, CEO of Vote Mama. "It's not feasible."

Sponsors of the bill say families need in-person learning and day care to return to fully recover.

Until then, they need this legislation to survive.


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