A provision included in the House’s version of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 pork spending bill would give federal employees the chance to take extended paid leave if their child or children are not experiencing full-time, in-person learning.
After nearly a year of uninterrupted paychecks while millions of Americans struggled to make ends meet during government-mandated lockdowns, bureaucrats would have access to a $570 million fund designated in Biden’s $1.9 trillion bill for “emergency leave” situations where they are “unable to work” such as if a child’s school is closed, operating on a fully virtual basis, or even hosting hybrid classes.
Using the terminology recognizing the two sexes that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi previously banned from legislation, page 307 of the nearly 600-page relief bill explains that full-time government employees would be eligible for a maximum of 15 weeks paid leave for up to $21,000 until Sept. 30 if they meet a certain list of requirements. The requirements include “if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model, or requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person…or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to Covid-19 precautions.”
According to Burbio’s “K-12 School Reopening Tracker,” only 15 states are hosting most of their students in classrooms for in-person learning, leaving most federal employees in at least 35 states the option to take the leave even for children who are not school-age. Some have even questioned the eligibility of parents whose children are in higher education institutions that are operating on a virtual or hybrid basis.
In addition to being parents of students who still have yet to return to classroom settings, despite the science indicating that is in childrens’ best interest, paid leave eligibility will be extended to federal employees who are in quarantine related to COVID-19, including “self-quarantine,” taking care of someone else in quarantine, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, caring for “a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years of age or older and incapable of self-care,” or is receiving or recovering from a COVID-19 vaccine. Other part-time and “seasonal” employees can qualify as well, with parameters set by their specific agencies.
Some have called the provision a “personal bailout for bureaucrats,” citing its “sloppiness” and criticized Democrats for presenting its “benefits” in a “disingenuous” way.