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Back to school: Are your employees entitled to leave?

August 9, 2018

Parent and child huggingAugust means pool parties, family vacations and back to school preparations. Employers should remain mindful that employees may seek leave to attend school orientations and meetings as the summer break comes to a close. Naturally, employees may use PTO, vacation or other paid leave to attend to these tasks, but are they guaranteed this type of leave by law? 

Wisconsin employers are not required by law to provide leave for school-related activities, and the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act would only cover such leave if it related to a child’s serious health condition and the care associated with that condition. Nevertheless, employers with multi-state operations should know that currently eleven states (and the District of Columbia) require or encourage employers to provide leave for school-related activities. Those states include: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Vermont. Each state’s law varies with respect to the types of leave covered and when the leave is paid or unpaid.

Employers who have questions about employee leave requests related to a child’s school activities should consult with legal counsel before denying those requests, especially if the employee resides or works in any of the jurisdictions listed above.

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