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New Law Aims to Give Working Parents More Flexibility

The Short of It

A new California law would allow working parents far more flexibility with tending to children's schooling and childcare needs without the fear of being fired for taking time off.

The Lowdown

It's the best news a working mom like me has heard all day! A new law in California that is set to take effect Jan. 1 will allow parents more time off from work to tend to their kids' school and childcare matters. This comes on the heels of a scary school shut down in Los Angeles due to what turned out to be hoax.

Currently, employees can leave work to attend parent-teacher conferences. But Senate Bill 579 proposes employers with more than 25 workers allow them as much as 40 hours per year, and up to 8 hours monthly, for such necessary activities as enrolling a child in a new school or childcare provider and picking a child up for an emergency, such as when a kid is sick or when schools close because of a threat of violence.

"A horrible thing like that—and let's hope it never happens again—this law would cover," Kelly Scott, from the Employment Law Practice at Ervin, Cohen, and Jessup, told KPCC.

The Upshot

I'm definitely in support of any measure that helps working parents pull off the tricky balancing act that is their everyday reality. We all want to do our best at work but also be there to support our kids when they need us, whether that means being the one to pick them up from daycare when they're feeling yucky or getting that one-on-one time with a teacher so we understand their successes and challenges at school.

It isn't fair to make parents choose between work and family, and this law says in many circumstances, they don't have to.

Would you be in favor of this law catching on nationwide?

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