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California Rules – Time off for School Appearance or School Activity

Posted on October 26, 2017

We often get questions regarding providing time off for employees to go to their children’s school. There are two laws in California relating to time off for school-related issues:

  1. School Activities leave applies only to employers with 25 or more employees.
  2. School Appearance leave applies to all employers, regardless of size.

The School Activities leave applies to employees who are the parents, guardians or custodial grandparents of children in kindergarten through grade 12, or of children in a licensed child day care facility.

Eligible employees may take time off to participate in school activities. The time must not exceed 40 hours per year, nor 8 hours in a calendar month. The employee must give reasonable prior notice of the planned absence and must provide documentation of participation.

The School Appearance Leave requirement provides that employees and who give reasonable advance notice to their supervisor will be granted time off without pay to:

  • Appear at their child’s school or child care provider when the parent is required to do so by the school or child care provider, or up to 40 hours per year to visit the school or child care provider of their child(ren). An employee will be granted a maximum of eight (8) hours per month of time off under this policy.
  • Under this provision, an employer cannot in any way discriminate against an employee who takes time off to appear at school in conjunction with a child’s or ward’s suspension from a class or school.

As a result, you should not stop your employee from leaving work to go to her child’s school, nor could you take disciplinary action against the employee for taking the time off.

The law does not require you to pay the employee for the time away from work, so on the day that the employee leaves early to go to her son’s school, you need to pay her only for the actual time they spent in the office working.

Lauren Sims is the article author and the Director of Human Resources Consulting for eqHR Solutions.

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

eqHRSolutions offers professional, tactical and strategic, human resources support, ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California.