California law requires employers with twenty-five or more employees to provide up to forty hours of unpaid leave per year to their children’s school activities (Grades Kindergarten through 12th). See California Labor Code § 230.8. Employees may take leave to:
· Participate in activities of the school or licensed child care provider of a child;
· Find, enroll, or re-enroll a child in a school with a licensed child care provider (only eight of the forty hours may be used for this purpose); or
· Address a “child care provider or school emergency.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to persist, section 230.8, arguably, can be used by employees to take protected leave to care for their child when the child must stay home and quarantine due to either contracting COVID-19 or close contact with someone who has. “Child care provider or school emergency” includes within its definition situations when the school has an attendance policy that prohibits the child from attending school and closure or unexpected unavailability of the school.