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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus could create a new type of workplace discrimination in white collar work — separating those who show up to the office versus those who do not.

The big picture: Even when offices reopen, there will be groups of employees who will continue working from home, such as parents who have kids who are home from school. And these workers could get overlooked by employers.

What's happening: As moves by Twitter, Facebook and Google have already indicated, many companies will use the coronavirus to transition into hybrid remote firms — with swaths of employees staying home forever. But companies that aren't conscious about forging a cohesive remote culture could push those workers aside.

More than 40% of American workers between 20 and 54 have children at home. And at least one parent may have to stay home with those kids if schools don't fully open this fall.

"As we move toward reopening, if history is any indication, it is predominantly moms staying home and making those difficult decisions and having those difficult conversations with supervisors," says Sarah Lux-Lee, CEO of Mindr, a consultancy that works with tech companies to help retain women and parents as employees. "And the implications of that could be very far-reaching."

  • Think of working parents becoming isolated as they miss happy hours or team lunches or — even worse — being passed over for promotions or raises.

On top of that, the coronavirus is ravaging the business of child care. The projection is that 50% of child care centers won’t make it through this, and, all told, America will lose around 4.5 million child care slots.

  • Even the parents who are able to afford child care when their offices reopen and feel comfortable putting their children in group care facilities may not have options.

The bottom line: "Family caregiving challenges will become a huge problem in America as we try to reopen the economy," says Adrienne Schweer, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "Parents will take a hit in perception and bias and take a hit potentially in pay."

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Sep 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

Work-from-home is turning into work-from-anywhere

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's not about working from home anymore. It's work from anywhere.

The big picture: In yet another example of how the pandemic is exacerbating inequality, lower-income Americans are doing front-line jobs or struggling to pay the bills, while richer workers are renting serene lakeside cabins and beautiful island villas as their employers extend telework timelines through the end of 2020 and beyond.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.

Mike Allen, author of AM
19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Charles Koch: "I screwed up"

In his first on-camera interview in four years, Charles Koch told "Axios on HBO" that he "screwed up by being partisan," rather than approaching his network's big-spending political action in a more nonpartisan way.

Why it matters: Koch — chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, which Forbes yesterday designated as America's largest private company — has been the left's favorite face of big-spending political action.