On February 15, 2017, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives introduced a bill that would require that employers with 20 or more employees provide eight hours of unpaid leave to parents to attend “school-related” activities. School-related activities are defined in the bill as: (1) parent-teacher conferences; (2) IEP meetings; (3) dropout prevention; (4) attendance, truancy or disciplinary issues; (5) concerts; (6) plays; (7) rehearsals; and (8) sporting events.
To be eligible for the leave, the parent/employee must have been employed by the employer for at least six out of the last 12 months. Parents requesting leave would need to do so four days in advance (unless it is an emergency situation) and provide written documentation if requested by the employer. Parents would also have an obligation to make a “reasonable attempt” to schedule the school-related activity outside of working hours. If an employer denies the leave, it must do so within 48 hours of the request and provide written justification for the denial.
It is unclear whether this bill has sufficient support to pass. At this time, it has been referred to the Committee on Labor and Industry for further consideration.
Saxton & Stump will keep you apprised of any further developments. However, in light of this and other recent legislative efforts to broaden employee entitlements to leave, employers would be wise to take this opportunity to review their leave policies to ensure compliance with applicable law.
Professional: Richard L. Hackman, Esq.