As we all head "Back to School" this Fall, the inevitable open houses, parent-teacher conferences and holiday music programs will soon follow. Providing time off to attend these important functions is paramount to keeping happy and engaged employees, and is even provided for in California Law. The Family-School Partnership Act is a California law that allows parents, custodial grandparents, and guardians to take time off from work to participate in their children's school or child care activities without fear of discrimination or retaliation. This law, Labor Code Section 230.8, applies to children in kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as children in licensed day care.
California employers of 25 or more employees working at the same location are covered under the law, and must allow employees up to 40 hours per year for this purpose (not to exceed 8 hours in a calendar month). Employees must give reasonable notice, and produce documentation evidencing the employee's participation if the employer requires it. The employer may require the employee to first use any accrued and available vacation, PTO or other personal leave time, and/or can allow employees to use time off without pay to attend such school activities. Complete information regarding the requirements of the law is found in Labor Code Section 230.8.
Additionally, a parent or guardian may be required by his/her child's or ward's school to appear regarding a disciplinary action involving their child. In this case, Labor Code 230.7 applies, which covers all employers, regardless of size. In this situation, again, employers are barred from discriminating or retaliating against an employee for taking time off for this purpose. The employee can take this time off with appropriate accrued time off available, or as unpaid time off. The employee should receive a written request from the school, and the employer can require a copy of this request for documentation purposes.
Contact Freeland Law APC for a free 30-minute consultation with Michael Freeland, experienced employment lawyer serving San Diego, California.
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