COBB COUNTY, Ga. - As many schools begin virtual learning, a lot of parents are juggling work and keeping an eye on their little digital learners. Some parents at Kennesaw State University are being told they can't do both.
Faculty and staff received a memo saying if they work from home, they better have childcare for their school-age children.
"It's really a terrible message for KSU to be sending at a time when what is needed is kindness and compassion and flexibility," said Heather Pincock who is an Associate Professor at KSU and also with the United Campus Workers of Georgia.
There are a lot of nerves and uncertainty as Kennesaw State University gets ready to open for the new school year in the middle of a pandemic. Some classes will be in person, others will be virtual.
As for KSU staff who will be working from home, specifically those with grade school children who will be learning virtually, the university sent them a memo warning them to have childcare.
"There's absolutely no need to single out and target parents and make them feel more anxiety," said Pincock.
In the memo from Human Resources that was sent out this week, it states "Telework is not a substitute for childcare and it is reasonable for the University to ask for evidence of appropriate childcare during working hours".
Pincock says she doesn't know what kind of evidence staff members would have to show, but she says she does know it sends a strong message to employees.
"Frankly it's insulting to workers suggesting that they're not trusted to get their jobs done. It is unnecessary, if there is an issue around job performance there are already measures in place for a supervisor to address that," said Pincock.
Pincock says this puts a lot of parents in a bind when it comes to lining up affordable childcare before school starts.
She says it's also concerning to many when it comes to their health.
"They feel pressured by the employer to bring childcare workers into their homes or send them to childcare facilities that creates a heightened risk in exposure to [the] virus," said Pincock.
The memo also says that employees with grade school children learning virtually may qualify for up to 12 weeks leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and receive two-thirds of their pay.
The full memo can be read below: