School Is Starting – Keep Leave Obligation in Mind

School-related leaves may be protected leaves of absence.

As school starts earlier every year, keep in mind that school-related leaves may protect your California employees.

Under California’s Labor Code, employers with 25 or more employees working at the same location must permit employees to take time off to participate in certain school or child care activities.

Eligible employees include those who are the parents of a child in kindergarten through 12th grade or of a child who stays with a licensed child care provider.

Covered reasons for this type of leave include:

  • Finding and enrolling (or re-enrolling) a child in a school or licensed child care provider;
  • Participating in school or licensed child care provider activities; and
  • Addressing a child care provider or school emergency (which includes the unexpected unavailability of the school or licensed child care provider).

The covered employee may take up to 40 hours of total time off each year. The time off can be limited to eight hours in any calendar month unless the leave is used for a school/child care emergency — there is no eight-hour per calendar month limitation on this emergency usage.

Remember that you can’t count protected leaves of absence as a violation of your tardiness or attendance policy!

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Senior Employment Law Counsel

CalChamber members can read more about School Apperance and Activities Leave section in the HR Library. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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