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Biden Wants to Give Federal Workers 15 Weeks of Paid Leave if Their Kids' Schools Stay Closed

Added 03-04-21 11:21:02am EST - “The rest of us are out of luck.” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Biden Wants to Give Federal Workers 15 Weeks of Paid Leave if Their Kids' Schools Stay Closed”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

There's not a lot of bipartisanship these days, and legislative efforts around COVID-19 are no different. One exception: Over the last year, both major political parties have shown a like-minded affinity for sneaking policy prescriptions into pandemic relief packages that have little or nothing to do with the pandemic.

The most glaring example in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 legislation is arguably the $15 federal minimum wage, which seems to have met its demise at the hands of the Senate parliamentarian. But there's another subtle measure that has flown under the radar.

It shouldn't. The bill gifts federal employees up to 15 weeks of paid leave if their lives have been impacted in various ways by COVID-19. 

Some of the hall passes laid out in the bill are relatively benign: For example, those "experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis" qualify. Yet that list gets longer and more convoluted. Most notably, it includes any federal worker with children in places where schools are closed—including in areas where there is a mix of virtual and in-person instruction.

That applies to those "caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, if the school of such son or daughter requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model or requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning instruction models, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions," reads the bill. It also includes government employees who are "experiencing any other substantially similar condition," though the legislation does not describe what exactly that entails.

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