Employee Leaves Of Absence: Law Permitting 40 Hours Leave To Attend Children’s School Activities Revised

Governor Wilson recently approved a measure changing the little-known but important statute that allows employees to take unpaid time off to participate in their children’s school activities. The law continues to apply to private, state and municipal em- ployers who have 25 or more employees working in the same location.

Our HR Management & Compliance Report: How To Comply with California and Federal Leave Laws, covers everything you need to know to stay in compliance with both state and federal law in one of the trickiest areas of compliance for even the most experienced HR professional. Learn the rules for pregnancy and parental leaves, medical exams and certifications, intermittent leaves, required notices, and more.

Expanded Leave For School Activities

Employees may currently take up to 40 hours off without pay per school year to attend their children’s school activities. But effective January 1, 1998, the leave will be based on 40 hours per calendar year.

Also, under prior law, qualifying school activities included only those for children in kindergarten through grade 12. Now, if the employee has preschool-age children, the leave may also be used to attend activities at the child’s licensed day care facility.

Other Rules Still In Effect

The law’s other provisions remain unchanged. To be covered, an em- ployee must be a parent, guardian or grandparent with custody of the child. You are entitled to reasonable advance notice and you can request verification by the school of the employee’s participation. Workers may take eight hours leave in any calendar month and 40 hours annually regardless of how many children they have.