School Activities Leave: Where Is It Required?

School Activities LeaveWith the school year underway, employers should be familiar with state laws that may allow employees to take time off to attend their child's school activities or parent-teacher conferences. Generally, these laws provide employees with a certain number of hours of leave annually, per month, or per school year.

Here is an overview of state laws related to school activities leave:

California:

  • Covered employers: Employers with 25 or more employees at the same location must provide leave to attend school activities. Note: All employers must grant unpaid time off for employees to attend disciplinary meetings at their child's school or child care facility.
  • Leave entitlement: Parents can take up to 40 hours per year to attend school activities for their children in child care or in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Rules: Employees must generally use accrued vacation or personal leave during the absence and provide reasonable advance notice. Employers may require documentation.

District of Columbia:

  • Covered employers: All D.C. employers.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to 24 hours of leave during a 12-month period to attend or participate in a child's school-related event.
  • Pay: Leave is unpaid, unless the employee elects to use accrued vacation or other paid time off.
  • Rules: Employees must provide at least 10 days advance notice, unless the need for time off is not foreseeable.

Illinois:

  • Covered employers: Employers with 50 or more employees.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to 8 hours per school year to attend a child's school conferences or classroom activities.
  • Pay: The employee must use accrued vacation or other paid time off, if available. Otherwise, the leave is unpaid.
  • Employee eligibility: The employee must have worked for at least six consecutive months for the company.
  • Rules: Generally, employees must provide at least seven days' written notice and no more than four hours can be taken on any given day.

Massachusetts:

  • Covered employers: All Massachusetts employers.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to 24 hours of leave during a 12-month period to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of the employee's child.
  • Rules: An employee may elect, or the employer may require, use of paid vacation, personal leave, medical or sick leave during the absence. If the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must provide seven days' notice. Employers may require documentation.

Minnesota:

  • Covered employers: Employers with one or more employees in Minnesota.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to 16 hours during any 12-month period to attend school conferences or school activities, if they cannot be scheduled outside of work hours.
  • Employee eligibility: The employee must have worked for the employer for at least the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the request.
  • Rules: An employee may use accrued vacation or other paid time off for the absence.

Nevada:

  • Covered employers: Employers with 50 or more employees.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to four hours per school year (per child enrolled in a public school) for employees to attend certain school activities.
  • Pay: Leave is unpaid.
  • Rules: The employer may require the employee to provide up to five days' written notice and the leave must be at a time mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee. Employers may also require documentation.

North Carolina:

  • Covered employers: All North Carolina employers.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to four hours of unpaid leave per year for school activities.
  • Rules: The leave must be at a time mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee. Additionally, the employer may require at least 48 hours' written notice, along with verification from the school.

Rhode Island:

  • Covered employers: Employers with 50 or more employees.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to 10 hours of leave during a 12-month period for a child's school conferences and activities.
  • Pay: Leave is unpaid; however, an employee may substitute accrued vacation or other paid time off.
  • Employee eligibility: Employees must work an average of 30 or more hours per week and be employed by the employer for 12 consecutive months.
  • Rules: The employee must provide 24 hours' advance notice and make a reasonable effort to schedule leave so it does not unduly disrupt the employer's operations.

Vermont:

  • Covered employers: Employers with 15 or more employees working an average of 30 or more hours per week.
  • Leave entitlement: Up to four hours in any 30-day period (not to exceed 24 hours in 12 months) for employees to attend school activities and attend to certain other family matters.
  • Pay: Leave is unpaid; however an employee may elect to use accrued vacation or other paid time off.
  • Employee eligibility: Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least one year, averaging at least 30 hours per week.
  • Rules: The employee must provide at least seven days' notice, except in the case of an emergency, and the employee must make a reasonable attempt to schedule appointments outside of regular work hours.

Conclusion:

Even if your state does not require this type of leave, you may want to consider providing it to your employees to help reduce unscheduled absences.

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