ESC members all over Northern California are pushing their employers to address the unique needs that working parents face as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some employers are already going above and beyond, offering additional employer-paid leave and flexible scheduling. Others are allowing working parents to take unpaid leave. ESC has requested to meet with each of our employers on these issues to push for expanded support for working parents, and we are hopeful any headway we make with employers will start a domino effect for our members.
BIG WIN at Kaiser: Childcare Stipend Extended
The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU) secured childcare support through the end of the year! We told our stories, raised our voices, and 7,000 workers signed a petition to let Kaiser know that if we’re going to do our life-saving work, we need to be sure our kids are cared for while we’re on the job.
Because of our actions, Kaiser agreed to bring back the childcare stipend at $200 a week for full-time, part-time and per diem employees working 32 hours or more a week (pro-rated for employees working 20-32 hours/week) to pay for care for children who are 14 years or younger (given by anyone other than spouses/domestic partners). It will be retroactive to August 17 and will last until December 19, 2020.
While this is not everything we want and doesn’t cover Kaiser employees working from home, it is a significant step forward in these challenging times. It took our collective effort and actions to push Kaiser to do the right thing. When we fight, we win!
Did you know that under California Law, parents can take 8 hours per month (up to 40 hours per year) of vacation to use for child-related activities with protection from retaliation?
According to the California Labor Code, an employer shall not discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee who is a parent for taking off up to 8 hours per month (up to 40 hours per year) to address a child care provider or school emergency, if the employee gives notice to the employer. Closure or unexpected unavailability of the school or child care provider, such as what we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is covered. The employee shall utilize existing vacation, personal leave, or compensatory time off. Employees shall not be discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any other manner discriminated against in terms and conditions of employment by his or her employer because the employee has taken time off to engage in child-related activities.
If you have been denied or are experiencing harassment or discrimination for using vacation for child-related activities, please contact your steward or union representative immediately.
Details of Childcare Grant: Effective 8/17/2020 – 12/19/2020
- Short term childcare grant of $200 per week for employees required to report to work at a KP Facility (i.e., CLS, MLT, OD, OA, etc.) or directed to care for patients in person at a non-KP facility (i.e., Home Health Therapists).
- Up to $200 per week grant which enables full time, part-time and per diems working at least 20 hours week who are required to report to work at a KP facility for their scheduled shifts or directed to care for patients in person at a non-KP facility to secure childcare for school-aged children (and disabled dependent children).
- Employees working remotely/at home are not eligible.
- Can be applied weekly; payments will be issued on the next on cycle payroll.
- Employees and per diems must provide a weekly attestation that includes hours worked in a facility, caregiver name, phone number, address, and email. KP reserves the right to validate this information.
- Full-time defined as 32+ hours, school-aged defined as age 14 or younger.
- Eligible hours are those worked in a facility (time off benefits do not count towards calculation).
- Grant amount will be prorated if worked less than 32 hours; the minimum grant will be $105 per week.