The flu season is here so employers are becoming edgy about how employees might take advantage of their sick leaves. Although it is a worker’s right to apply for leave during sick days, there are questions about the validity of paid sick leaves being used to cover them for absences during a kid’s school activities or closures.
The Challenges of a Working Parent
Employees who have school-aged children are in a constant battle about their priorities. School can be demanding and it will be such a challenge to juggle school issues and stuff at work. There will also be times that the schools are closed because of a bad weather, emergencies, and other issues. Such occurrence will require the parents to either pick up their children or stay with the children at home when there is no one else to take care of them.
What Labor Laws Say About It
There are state laws that allow working parents to take some time off work in favor of attending their children’s school activities. It is thereby encouraged that employers check with their local sick leave laws. Some examples of states that have specific rules regarding using of sick leaves for school-related reasons are:
California laws state that employed parents of k-12 students are allowed to take off up to 40 hours per year either to participate in school activities or to deal with emergencies. Biological parents are not the only ones who can benefit from this provision. As long as the employee stands in loco parentis to a school child, (i.e., guardian, grandparent, foster parent, or stepparent) he or she can use these hours for the said reasons.
Leave credits can be used during public health emergencies where the school or childcare center closes and the employees need to take care of their children. They also allow the employees to use their leaves for Safe Time or when there is a need to enroll the kids in another school as a result of being a victim to a sexual offense, abuse, stalking, or human trafficking.
Just like in New York, leaves may be utilized to care for a child whose school is closed due to a public health emergency. However, it is also allowed to use leave credits in order to attend events, conferences, meetings, and other school-related functions.
Although there are minute differences, most of the laws covering sick leaves and how they can be used for school and childcare related emergencies are almost the same.
Sick leaves under PTO are quite meticulous to compute. Yes, it is generally allowed to use sick leaves to let the employee participate in his or her child’s school activities but only when the guidelines about it are followed.
This is where automated PTO systems become handy in the HR department. With an online leave processing system, a streamlined PTO tracking ensures that computing leave compensations are done accordingly.
Have detailed information about how you can modernize leave processing for your company. Call us at TRAXPayroll today!