Parental School Leave and Other Leave Types: Which Apply to Your State?

As reported by the Child Trends Database, 87% of parents attended general school meetings in 2012, which is fantastic, but only 42% volunteered or served on a committee. Should employers care? According to the Center for Public Education, “Parents want to be involved, and parental involvement can make a difference in student learning.” Furthermore, according to the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, students with involved parents are more likely to succeed, including graduating and pursuing higher education. But what does any of this have to do with employee leave management?

More than you’d probably think. Did you know employees in a variety of states can take job protected time off to volunteer for these events? For example, employers in California with 25 or more employees at the same location must provide up to 40 hours each year for parents, guardians or grandparents to participate in school activities.

Employees value the benefits available to them whether they are legislatively mandated or voluntarily offered by the employer. HR will enhance their reputation and credibility with employees the more comprehensively they are monitoring and offering multiple employee benefits at all levels. Company, federal and state leaves are all part of the mix and each provide sometimes similar but sometimes different types of benefits. At least eleven states offer some type of separate parental school leave or school involvement time off. Employers need to have proper knowledge of these benefits, invest in the workforce and track this leave time appropriately.

A proactive, knowledgeable approach should include some type of trusted mechanism or leave management software, which will help ensure you are compliant in providing the correct leave time. This software should assist you in determining whether their employees are both eligible and whether they have any available time to use. (Tip: Employees can only take 8 hours of leave per month.)

In addition to this detailed eligibility and time tracking, HR needs reporting that indicates what employees will be out on any given day, why they will be out, and whether they are utilizing school-related leave or any other non-FML, family or military leave type. For example, a report should be available for a given time range so that the employer can identify which employees will be absent. Or, an absence calendar should be available so that you can see what days of the week a particular employee will be absent. Any and all of these types of reports will help you properly plan for anticipated absences related to school-related and other types of leave.

As an HR leader, take steps to be sure you know whether you have employees in one of the states with leave laws encouraging school involvement. A proactive, knowledgeable approach will avoid the problems and troubles that arise from a reactive management style, and we all know what can happen then…

Parental school leave is just one type of non-FML leave. The question is are you not only aware of school involvement leave, but other types of leave, such as Emergency Responder or Organ Donation leave types. To learn more about which leave types apply to your state, check out what we’ve put together to help you navigate the land of leave.