In March, Florida State University decided to temporarily permit its employees to care for children while working remotely. The university now will reverse that policy, the administration announced in a memo to faculty and staff members. Beginning Aug. 7, employees will no longer be allowed to care for children while working remotely. If a staff member fails to abide by this requirement, the university can rescind approval for remote work.
“Now that our local public schools are planning to resume in-person instruction next month and local day-care centers are open throughout the county, FSU is also shifting back to normal policy,” the university wrote in a statement clarifying its policy. “Florida State University is closely monitoring Leon County School’s reopening plans. If circumstances change, Florida State University will make any adjustments accordingly.”
With the resumption of normal policy, employees must arrange for someone else to care for their children during work hours, and the human resources department can request the specifics of that arrangement.
Florida State also clarified that the change will not affect staff members who regularly do their jobs remotely.
The announcement drew negative attention on social media from faculty members at several universities.
Though childcare providers were deemed an essential business by many states — including Florida — and not ordered to close, an April survey of providers from the National Association for the Education of Young Children suggests that nearly half of facilities or programs were closed entirely at that time, and 17 percent were open only for children of essential workers.