New Colorado Law Provides Leave for Academic Activities

Governor Ritter has signed the Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act (House Bill 09-1057). This law becomes effective August 5, 2009, and grants certain full and part-time employees who are parents or legal guardians of children enrolled in public or private school unpaid, job-protected time off to attend academic activities.

Like the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, this Act applies to private employers engaged in interstate commerce employing 50 or more employees and to public agencies regardless of size. To be eligible for leave, an employee must be the parent or legal guardian of a child in grades K-12 and must work in a nonexecutive or nonsupervisory capacity. Eligible employees can take leave for academic activities such as: parent-teacher conferences, special education services, response to intervention, dropout prevention, attendance, truancy; or disciplinary issues. Parental involvement leave is unpaid. The employer or employee, however, may elect to substitute accrued paid vacation leave or other paid leave for this time.

Full-time employees may take up to a maximum of 18 hours in an academic year to attend such activities. Part-time employee leave is prorated based on the percentage of a full-time schedule the employee works. The Act restricts employees from taking more than six hours of leave in any one-month period and allows employers to require leave to be taken in no longer than 3-hour increments.

Except in emergencies, employees are required to provide at least one (1) calendar week advance notice of the need for leave

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