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State Laws: School Activities Leave

Employers in some states are required to provide leave for parents and guardians to attend their children's school-related activities. Now's the time to dust off your school activities leave policy.

As of September 2023, states that require employers to provide leave for parents and guardians to attend their children's school-related activities include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Other states have enacted legislation that encourages, but does not require, employers to provide school-related leave to employees.


States Mandate Unpaid Leave for School Activities
SHRM | Sep 2023

Dear Littler: What Do We Need to Know about School-Activity Leave Laws?
Littler | Sep 2023

As School Bells Ring, Employers Should Review School-Related Activities Leave Policies
Akerman | Sep 2023

SHRM MEMBERS' SURVEYTell us what you think about the Express Request self-service feature in four quick questions.

State-by-State Resources

Where possible, we've included links to the code, an article and an example policy. Use example policies as guidelines only. You must ensure that your policy and form comply with relevant state law.

California Family-School Partnership Act

Code: Sections 230.7 & 230.8

Article: Employee Leave Entitlements 101: School-Related Requests
Jackson Lewis | Aug 2023

Example policy: Family-School Partnership
UC Berkeley

REPEALED: Colorado Parental Leave for Academic Activities

Article: Colorado's Parental Leave For Academic Activities Repealed
Holland & Hart | Sep 2015

Article: Colorado's Parental Involvement Act Expires in September
Ireland Stapleton | Apr 2015

District of Columbia Parental Leave Act of 1994

Code: § 32-1202. Amount of leave; denial; form; notice
Poster: Parental Leave Act - Know Your Rights

Example Policy: DC Parental Leave
George Washington University

Illinois School Visitation Rights Act

Code: (820 ILCS 147/) School Visitation Rights Act
Fact Sheet: School Visitation Rights
Form: School Visitation Leave

Example policy: School Conference and Activity Leave
University of Illinois System

Article: Effective August 1, 2020, changes to the Illinois school conference and activity leave requirements went into effect. The amended law provides that the leave can be used for school conferences, behavioral meetings or academic meetings, and provides that employers cannot terminate an employee's employment based solely on an absence for one of these reasons.
Year-End State Law Roundup: Get Ready for 2020!
Squire Patton Boggs | Dec 2019

Massachusetts Small Necessities Leave

Code: Chapter 149: Section 52D - Small Necessities Leave
Sample Employee Certification (page 5) An Act Providing Employees Leave for Certain Family Obligations

Example policy: Small Necessities Leave - MA
Tufts University

Minnesota School Conference and Activities Leave

Code: 181.9412 School Conference and Activities Leave
Poster: School Conference and Activities Leave

Example policy: School and Conference Activity Leave
University of Minnesota

Nevada Parental Involvement

Code: NRS 392.4577 Parental involvement

Article: Must Nevada Employers Allow Parents to Participate in School Activities?
Piccolo | Dec 2019

Leave for School Related Activities
Nevada Association of Employers | Aug 2017

New Jersey

Under New Jersey’s earned sick and safe leave law, which applies to all New Jersey employers, employees may use their paid sick leave to attend a child’s school-related conference, meeting, function, or other event requested or required by school officials. Per the rules, this could include sporting events, plays, or similar activities. In addition, employees may use their time to attend meetings regarding care provided to child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability. All New Jersey employees are eligible for paid sick leave with limited exceptions.
Dear Littler: What Do We Need to Know about School-Activity Leave Laws?
Littler | Sep 2023

New Mexico

Under New Mexico’s Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021, all employers are required to provide eligible employees with sick leave per benefit year. Eligible employees may use earned sick leave for meetings at the employee’s child’s school or place of care related to the child’s health or disability. When leave is foreseeable, the employee is required to make a reasonable effort to provide advanced oral or written notice of the need for the leave to the employer and must make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave in a manner that does not disrupt the operations of the employer. When the use of the leave is not foreseeable, the employee is required to notify the employer orally or in writing as soon as practicable.
As School Bells Ring, Employers Should Review School-Related Activities Leave Policies
Akerman | Sep 2023

North Carolina Leave for Parental Involvement in Schools

Code: § 95-28.3. Leave for parent involvement in schools
NC DOL: Parental Leave

Example policy: Leave for Parent Involvement in Schools
Duke University

Rhode Island School Involvement Leave

Code: § 28-48-12 School involvement leave
RI DLT: Notice to Employees- Rhode Island Parental and Family & Medical Leave Act

Example policy: Staff Time Away
Rhode Island School of Design

Vermont Short-Term Family Leave to Participate in Preschool or School Activities

Code: 21 V.S.A. § 472a. Short-term family leave
VT DOL Poster: Parental Leave, Family Leave, and Short-Term Family Leave

Example policy: Vermont Parental Leave, Family Leave and Short-Term Family Leave (VPFL) Policy
The University of Vermont

Related Reading & Samples

Policy: Paid Leave for School Visitation
Form: School Activities Leave Request

How HR Can Support Working Parents During Back-to-School Season
SHRM | Jul 2023

Parental Leave for School-Related Activities
A Better Balance | 2016


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