Time Off From Work – New Provisions

Time OffDo you wish to enroll your child in a new school, but time off from your work schedule makes the process too difficult? You are likely unaware of SB579, but it is a legal provision that both you and your employer should become acquainted with.  Labor Code 233, sometimes called the Kin Care law, has been revised to include favorable impacts for employees. Because this law, as most, is open to interpretation, getting experienced legal help for your individual circumstances is always a good idea.

How Does Labor Code 233 Impact Time Off For Child-Related Activities?

This law protects employees in their efforts to participate in school activities for children in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. In addition, the law provides that parents, grandparents, and other custodial guardians, including step-parents and foster parents, may take time off of work to deal with child care provider emergencies, school emergencies, or to simply enroll a child in school or with a licensed child care provider. In fact, the law entitles you up to 40 hours per year for such activities in the state of California.

Employers may require employees to use their personal leave, comp time, vacation time, or other leave for such activities, but if that is unavailable, the law allows up to eight hours per month of unpaid leave.

What Other Time Off Changes Does Labor Code 233 Invoke?

Changes made to the “Kin Care” law took effect in January of 2016. These changes widen the scope of activities for which individuals may use their accrued sick leave. Employees may now use up to one-half of protected leave under these circumstances:

  • Health reasons related specifically to the employee;
  • Health reasons related to the employee’s family members;
  • Employees who are victims of sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence.

Is a Doctor’s Note Required in Order to Take This Type of Time Off?

Under the new provisions, an employer’s right to seek verification of an illness is limited, as well. The changes in Labor Code section 233 protect employees from disciplinary action when using one-half of their accrued leave. Employers may not request a doctor’s note substantiating the illness until the employee has used one-half of the leave. So for example, if an employer provides 20 sick-leave days per year, a request for a physician’s documentation of illness could not be requested until after the first 10 days of leave has been taken.

Do All Employers Have to Provide This Type of Time Off?

Labor Code Section 233 applies to all employers who employ 25 or more individuals.

If Your Employer is Not Providing the Benefits

Do you believe your employer is in violation of Labor Code 233?

Does your employer:

  • Require verification of your illness.
  • Disciplined due to your absence.
  • Denied protected leave to deal with a child-related activity.

Then you should seek the legal counsel of the experienced Santa Rosa attorneys at Beck Law P.C. Call today for your confidential consultation.



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