Workplace Fairness has compiled resources to help keep you informed of your rights and new legislation regarding COVID-19. We have created this page to consolidate relevant coronavirus and COVID-19 information and to provide resources to help answer questions that you may have about COVID-19 new legislations and policies.
Workplace/Worker Health and Safety
Discrimination and COVID-19
Worker Protections for Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Natural Disasters, and Public Health Emergencies
COVID-19 Resources for Immigrant Workers
COVID-19 & Workers Victimized by Domestic Violence
Resources for Job Seekers With Disabilities
**UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD ALERT**
Unemployment Benefits Expanded to Include Individuals Who Refuse to Return to COVID-19 Noncompliant Work Environments
Navigating Workers’ Compensation During COVID-19
The American Rescue Plan Extends FFCRA Tax Credit, But Not the Mandate
New DOL Guidance Expanding Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance to Three Categories of Workers
A Guide to COVID-19 Workplace Safety
Unemployment Insurance for Individuals Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Many States have adopted a range of helpful policies to expand access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. In addition, the federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits related to COVID-19.
Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
The CARES Act gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits.
Unemployment Insurance Protections in Response to COVID-19: State Developments
Additional states have adopted COVID-19 related provisions for UI. NELP has a great document that covers all 50 states.
Plant Closings / Mass Layoffs
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act offers some protection to workers, their families and communities against plant closings and/or mass layoffs, by requiring employers to give their workers sixty days notice before a plant closing or mass layoff.
What is a furlough?
An employee furlough is a mandatory suspension from work without pay. It can be as brief or as long as the employer wants. Furloughs can take place in both public and private institutions. An organization will furlough employees as a cost-saving measure when it doesn't want to lay off staff but lacks the resources to continue paying them.
A Guide to Pay and Benefits During Furloughs
Here is what federal workers in fee-funded agencies can expect in terms of pay and benefits if they find themselves on the receiving end of a furlough notice, according to 2017 guidance published by the Office of Personnel Management.
Filing an Unemployment Claim in Your State
Get vital information about filing an unemployment claim in your state. These pages give state specific information about the filing process, available benefits, and other important guidelines for getting unemployment.
Coping with Job Loss
The impact of termination goes well beyond shaking a family's financial security. Job loss is also a very personal experience which people handle in very individual ways. Maintaining a positive outlook may not come easily to everyone, and may require serious effort on your part. A sincere effort to follow some of the suggestions could be beneficial.
How to apply for Public Benefits
Welfare programs are government subsidies for low-income families and individuals. Recipients must prove their income falls below a target, which is some percentage of the federal poverty level. There are six major U.S. welfare programs. They are the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP or "food stamps"), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and housing assistance. Here's a guide to how and what you may be elegible to apply for.
How To File for Unemployment and What To Do After Losing Your Job
As many Americans swept up in the current economic crisis have likely never filed for unemployment, here’s a look at how it’s done and what it covers.
Coronavirus Unemployment Calculator Benefits by State
We hit the data to determine how much unemployed workers can expect to receive under the stimulus -- and the amount in each state where you would make more money not working at all.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Labor published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing COVID-19 issues under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). the individual exhausts PEUC and the state has “triggered on” to EB as defined under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 U.S.C. §3304 note), the individual may then be eligible to receive EB. The duration of these benefits is up to 13 or 20 weeks, dependent on the state’s unemployment rate and if state law includes a trigger for periods of high unemployment
Updating Partial Benefits to Encourage Work by Claimants and Fairness for Part-Time Workers
A helpful guide to understand states partial unemployment insurance rules.
Trigger Notice Report
If the individual exhausts PEUC and the state has “triggered on” to EB as defined under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 U.S.C. §3304 note), the individual may then be eligible to receive EB. The duration of these benefits is up to 13 or 20 weeks, dependent on the state’s unemployment rate and if state law includes a trigger for periods of high unemployment. If the state is not "triggered on" to EB or the individual exhaust EB, the individual may then be eligible to receive PUA under section 2104.
Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019
Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019
President Biden Orders Vaccination Mandates for Larger Employers, Federal Workforce.
What is Protected Concerted Activity?
Under the National Labor Relations Act, most workers have the right to act together to address work-related issues in many ways. Protected Concerted Activities include: talking with one or more co-workers about working conditions, circulating a petition asking for health and safety provisions, participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe conditions, openly calling for paid sick leave, and joining with co-workers to talk directly to your employer or to a government agency about problems in your workplace.
Workers' Right to Refuse Dangerous Work
If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer's attention, if possible. You may file a complaint with OSHA concerning a hazardous working condition at any time.
Infectious Diseases and the Workplace
It is important for workers and employers alike to know what employment actions are lawful in the face of serious illnesses, and how individuals and companies can protect themselves when infectious diseases are going around. Read here more information about infectious diseases and the workplace.
Federal employees who misrepresent their COVID-19 vaccination status to their agencies face firings and potential criminal prosecution. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force—a group President Biden created by executive order that is led by the White House, General Services Administration and Office of Management and Budget—confirmed in new guidance agencies would not initially ask for proof of vaccination, but they could follow up for documentation if they receive “a good faith allegation that strongly suggests” an employee lied on their attestation form.
The Office of Management and Budget reinstituted the federal government’s requirement that all federal workers, contractors and visitors to federal facilities must wear masks in areas that have seen a recent uptick in COVID-19 infections, as concerns about the virus’ Delta variant mount. Read the article here.
Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. OSHA developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that all Americans, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public places within areas experiencing coronavirus outbreaks.
Worker Safety & Health During COVID-19 Pandemic: Rights & Resources
NELP has provided this policy toolkit for workers, their advocates and allies, and policymakers to help ensure that workers are protected.
EEOC Updates Guidance to Address Return to Work Post-COVID-19
As federal, state and local governments contemplate plans to ease stay at home orders and reopen the economy, the EEOC has updated its guidance to address common issues that employers may encounter as employees idled by the COVID-19 crisis return to work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its COVID-19 guidance for non-healthcare employers, Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace, on August 13, 2021. Read the full article here.
Work and the Coronavirus
How COVID-19 affects work, labor and employment. ILR helps make sense of how the coronavirus pandemic changes the workplace – from employment and legal policy, to labor relations and HR policies and practices. We will continue to share data, analysis, research and insight from our faculty and experts.
The Health and Human Services Department became the second federal agency to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for some civilian employees, announcing it will require the shots for its health care workforce.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they are in locations with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates. Employers may consider reinstituting mask requirements if they are in affected areas.
Federal contractors must comply with new COVID-19 vaccine mandates for on-site employees.
Federal employees who refuse mandatory COVID tests could find themselves facing disciplinary measures.
Federal employees who lie about their vaccination status could be fired or imprisoned.
Connecticut Mandates Vaccination for Employees and Individuals Providing Direct Access Services to Patients or Residents of Long-term Care Facilities.
California Mandates Vaccination for Workers in the Health Care Industry by September 30th.
Florida Ban on Requiring Vaccine Passports Banned (For Now).
New Jersey: Vaccines Or Testing for Workers in Healthcare and High-Risk Congregate Settings.
Oregon Enacts Temporary Rule Requiring Healthcare Worker Vaccinations or COVID-19 Testing.
Philadelphia Businesses Must Require Masks or Proof of Vaccination From Employees and Customers Beginning August 12,2021.
Colorado Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Many Healthcare Settings.
Maryland Mandates Vaccinations for Healthcare Workers in Hospitals and Nursing Homes.
Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders
This post, current as of April 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (CDT), covers laws and orders that require employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other employee health screening procedures, such as asking employees about any COVID-19-consistent symptoms using a questionnaire or checklist.
FAQ: COVID-19 and Navigating the Workplace with a Disability
Many individuals with medical conditions managed through medication and/or lifestyle adjustments are finding themselves particularly vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic—especially when it comes to their employment. Some of these individuals may not previously have requested a reasonable accommodation for a heart or lung condition because they work in an office environment with sedentary duties. This FAQ is intended to help employees navigate their options, from the basics to the nuances during this pandemic.
Bouncing Back: A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols
Government officials across the country are easing up, or preparing to ease up, on the stringent business closures and stay at home orders that helped the nation successfully slow the spread of COVID-19. Each jurisdiction will emerge from this collective state of suspended animation by implementing different measures, and on different timetables.
EEOC Says Employers Can Administer COVID-19 Tests Before Employees Can Come to Work
In guidance issued on April 23, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that employers may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.
This Won’t Hurt a Bit: Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders, as of June 1, 2020
This post, current as of June 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (CDT), covers statewide laws and orders that require employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other employee health screening procedures, such as asking employees about any COVID-19-consistent symptoms using a questionnaire or checklist
Checklist for Returning to Work During Coronavirus
You’ve been called back to work…now what? This checklist identifies issues that may justify your decision not to return.
Safe Job Checklist
BlueGreen Alliance released a new online resource to help American workers understand their rights, access critical safety information, and anonymously report unsafe working conditions during COVID19.
Employer Best Practices
Policies to Support Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
OSHA Issues Revised Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Cases
OSHA issued new enforcement guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record cases of COVID-19 on the OSHA injury and illness logs. The new guidance takes effect Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and will supersede OSHA’s previous guidance that was issued on April 10, 2020.
Which States and Citites Have Adopted Comprehensive COVID-19 Workers Protections?
As the COVID-19 pandemic surges in the United States, workers have continued to protest and organize for their safety and health—but action is needed at all levels of government, starting with the top. To date, the Trump administration—specifically, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration—has resisted issuing any workplace safety standards or requirements to protect workers from COVID-19 in the workplace. In the absence of federal leadership, some governors and state health departments have stepped up to expand worker protections.
Use and Misuse of Codeine, Oxycodone, and Other Opioids: Information for Employees
This document answers questions about reasonable accommodations that may be available to employees who currently legally use opioids, as well as what to do if an employer has concerns about the employee’s ability to safely perform his or her job.
How Health Care Providers Can Help Current and Former Patients Who Have Used or Misused Opioids Stay Employed
This document informs health care providers about their patients’ legal rights in the workplace. Medical providers are often key participants in the interactive process between employers and workers as employers seek to understand the employee’s condition and potential need for reasonable accommodation. In addition to describing the coverage limits under the ADA, the document provides guidance to health care workers seeking to provide documentation of covered disabilities on behalf of their patients.
Return To The Workplace Toolkit
Arlington Economic Development (AED) and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce have partnered to release the Return to the Workplace Toolkit, designed to aid Arlington’s businesses in safely welcoming back employees and customers.
National Origin Discrimination
Regardless of an employee’s ancestry or any other nationality, individuals are entitled to equal access to employment opportunities. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of national origin. During this time, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) emphasizes that it is unlawful national origin and race discrimination against Asian Americans and people of Asian descent in the workplace during the pandemic.
Racial discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently base on their actual or perceived race. Race discrimination also includes discrimination based upon skin color. Federal law prohibits race discrimination in the workplace and incidents of race discrimination can take many forms, in the workplace.
What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws (recently updated)
The EEOC posted a short question and answer document to provide information related to COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and other EEO Laws.
Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act
The EEOC has provided guidance that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. This pandemic publication, written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant today and identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic. It was updated on March 19, 2020 to address examples and information regarding COVID-19; the new information appears in bold.
The EEOC has also posted a pre-recorded webinar addressing questions arising under any of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and the COVID-19 pandemic. The video can be seen on YouTube. A transcript of the webinar is also available.
EEOC Continues to Serve the Public During COVID-19 Crisis
The EEOC wants you to know that they are continuing to enforce the nation's employment non-discrimination laws while ensuring that all of their activities are consistent with public health guidelines.
EEOC Pauses Right-To-Sue Notices Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The EEOC has largely paused its issuance of key notices that start the clock for workers to sue their employers for bias.
Workplace Discrimination As A Result Of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and the economy, there is increasing concern about how to best protect the rights of workers during this time and ensure safe and healthy working conditions.
State and Local Paid Sick Leave Laws
Although momentum for a federal paid sick leave requirement is growing, there are currently only a few states, sometimes limited to specific cities within these states, in which employers are required to provide paid sick leave to qualified individuals.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) & Emergency Paid Sick Leave
With the coronavirus pandemic affecting nearly everyone in the country and an influx of new legislation, Workplace Fairness has compiled information along with answers to many frequently asked questions to provide guidance during this transition. We have also provided answers to questions about the recovery rebate included in the bill.
COVID-19 Triggers New State and Local Paid Leave Benefits, Guidance
To alleviate some of the economic strain on employees unable to work due to COVID-19, some state and local authorities have begun to implement new paid leave requirements. Other jurisdictions are modifying existing leave laws or benefit programs to accommodate employees’ needs during the pandemic. Here are brief summaries of new state and local paid leave benefits, as well as guidance addressing how current paid leave benefits apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Conference of State Legislature: Paid Sick Leave
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress enacted emergency legislation to temporarily give many Americans access paid leave if they need to take time off work because of the virus. A few states have also temporarily broadened acfcess to paid sick leave in response to the impact of the coronavirus, but no permanent, broad paid sick leave measures have been adopted.
COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19.
Know Your Rights: Emergency Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave for Child Care and Coronavirus [Spanish]
National Partnership for Woman & Families provides a helpful guide and explanation for many workers about new rights to paid sick time and paid family leave to use for certain coronavirus-related health and family caregiving reasons, including for quarantine and child care.
COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.
OPM Issues Guidance on Additional Paid Sick Leave for Feds During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The federal government’s human resources agency confirmed this week that most federal workers are eligible to take up to two additional weeks of paid sick leave this year related to COVID-19.
Pittsburg expands COVID-19 paid sick leave.
Worker Protections for Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Natural Disasters, and Public Health Emergencies
Employee Protections During Natural Disasters and Epidemics
Navigating your rights during a public health emergency or pandemic can be difficult. Many states provide protection for workers that prevent employers from terminating employees or other adverse actions.
Workers’ Rights During Public Health Emergencies
It is impossible to really plan for any emergency or disaster. When natural disasters like a hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado, or fire happens many employment laws come into effect. Similarly, when there is a public health emergency, it is important for employers to be aware of employment & labor laws that may impact their employees in these situations.
Employer Immunity From COVID-19-Related Liability Endangers Women and People of Color
The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare and worsened the deep structural inequities facing working people, particularly women and people of color, who are the majority of those in jobs deemed essential and whose communities are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Now, a push in Congress and in the states to shield businesses from being held accountable for risking the health and safety of their workers is threatening to deepen these inequities and health risks. This resource provides an overview of the ways in which shielding businesses from being held accountable for negligently risking the health and safety of their workers will harm workers, and in particular, women and people of color.
COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and AnswersIf your business has a shortage of workers and is looking to “volunteers” to help out, be aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has stringent requirements with respect to the use of volunteers.
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FAQ: Immigrant Workers' Rights and COVID-19-A Resource for Workers and Their Advocates
The National Immigration Law Center, the National Employment Law Project, and the Occupational Safety and Health Law Project have partnered to create a new Know Your Rights resource for immigrant workers.
California is now offering support to undocumented immigrants, in the first relief fund of its kind
Undocumented immigrants in California can begin applying for financial assistance to support them during the coronavirus pandemic -- in the first relief fund of its kind.
When Work is Safer Than Home: Supporting Workers Experiencing Domestic & Sexual Violence During the COVID-19 [Spanish]
For many survivors of domestic & sexual violence, the workplace is not only an oasis of safety from an intimate partner who uses violence, but working also provides them with the financial resources that may provide a pathway to leave an abusive relationship.
COVID-19, Survivors & the Workplace Resource [Spanish]
As workplaces adjust to an unfamiliar reality of remote interactions, these tips may help supervisors and coworkers recognize when a colleague may be experiencing violence at home, respond in a manner that centers the survivor’s physical and emotional safety needs, and refer them to resources available to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Writing the Perfect Resume for a Job Seeker with Disabilities
Writing a resume is difficult at the best of times, but many job seekers with disabilities come up against many unique obstacles that may, at first, seem difficult to overcome. Here are a couple of need to know tips and pieces of advice that can help you to write the perfect resume to secure your next interview.
Employees' Practical Guide to Requesting & Negotiating Reasonable Accommodation
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Over the years, JAN consultants have developed practical ideas to help employees understand the ADA and request and negotiate reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
At-Home Work for People with Disabilities and Special Needs
27 Companies Who Hire Adults With Autism
Individuals diagnosed with autism struggle to communicate and interact socially depending on the severity of their autism diagnosis throughout their childhood as well as adults lives. This resource provides hiring practices as well as workplaces for those with autism are not designed for those with this invisible disability.
5 Great Companies That Employ Adults With Special Needs
Adults with special needs are fully capable of living full lives with friends, hobbies, and careers. While there are still many people who do not understand this, more and more companies have found that employing adults with special needs can benefit their company while providing a rewarding career path for said adults. Here are some of the best companies that employ adults with special needs.
Interview Confidence for Workers with Disabilities
Here are several strategies to help you develop a winner's mindset for your interview.
Disability Disclosure and Interviewing Techniques for Persons with Disabilities
Deciding when to disclose a disability can be a difficult choice for a person with a disability who is job hunting. If you have a hidden disability such as a learning disability or a psychiatric impairment, when and how to disclose your condition can be a real dilemma. Here are some guidelines for dealing with disability issues in the pre-employment process.
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These states have implemented stay-at-home orders. Here's what that means for you
As the US grapples with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus that has the health care system at a tipping point, a growing number of states are ordering their residents to stay at home. Though the White House has advised all Americans to practice social distancing, the number of coronavirus cases in the US continues to rise. So, governors are taking stronger action by issuing stay-at-home orders. These are the states that have implemented stay-at-home orders.
This is where all 50 states stand on reopening
Leaders are highlighting the importance of using science and advice from health officials rather than politics to choose when to reopen the economy. Expanded testing, tracking contacts of people who had the virus, improved treatment options and vaccine development are important, they say. Here's the latest on where states stand in their plan to reopen.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Workplace
The coronavirus outbreak has changed the work situations for millions of people throughout the United States. In this time of crisis, Outten & Golden is particularly concerned about protecting people’s employment rights and has prepared a set of FAQs to explain how federal, state, and local laws can protect your job, your wages, and your livelihood.
Opening Up America Again
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
Resources for Workers Impacted by COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of working people and our families. Select your state to find the resources, programs and benefits available in your area to assist you during this crisis.
Coronavirus & Distance Learning Resources For Parents
During these complex times, the Share My Lesson team and the American Federation of Teachers have collected these curated ideas, resources and more to help you and your family adjust to this “new normal.”
What Does Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Mean for College Students?
The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program should provide significant benefits for working students who lost their jobs due to COVID-19: In the short term, those unemployed students could receive a $794 minimum weekly benefit.
We Want to Help you Not Get Kicked Out
Find out if your building qualifies for the federal eviction moratorium, current eviction protections where you live, and legal aid available in your area to help you stay in your home.
Should I Home-School My Child? – Pros & Cons to Consider
If you’re considering home-schooling your children next year, you likely have some doubts and plenty of questions. Read here to learn more about homeschooling.