Examining Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Small businesses must overcome numerous obstacles if they wish to be successful. One of the bigger challenges is knowing what time off an employee may be entitled to under Illinois state law. The Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act falls under this umbrella. The following information can help you learn what the Act covers, how to handle staffing issues that may arise because of it, and what the consequences may be for companies that fail to comply.

What the Law Protects

Employees who have children are typically required to attend a minimum of two parent-teacher conferences per year. Some children may have higher needs, either because of behavioral issues or special needs that require the use of Individualized Education Plans or other educational provisions. The School Visitation Rights Act provides employees with an allotted amount of time for attending these meetings, regardless of their regular work schedule (up to eight hours during any given school year, but no more than four hours on a single day).

Provided the employee follows the seven-day, advance written request requirement, employers must give this time off without retaliation. Further, employees are permitted to make up their time, whenever reasonable, on a different shift or day, during the same pay period. If making up the time is not reasonable, or the employee does not wish to do so, the employer is not required to pay for the allotted time off work. Made up time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate.

Dealing with Staffing Issues

Large corporations often have an easier time at accommodating many of the employment laws. Small businesses are often at a disadvantage – usually because they do not have the staff to cover an employee when the time is requested off. However, there are a few strategies that employers can use to mitigate against the issues.

Cross-training all employees, use of temp services, and filling the hours yourself are all plausible options that allow business to continue as normal. Just be aware of the laws that pertain to overtime pay and temp workers if you choose to utilize these options. Alternatively, the employer may wish to hire another employee on a part-time basis – one who can work as a fill-in when others need time off work.

Contact Our Long Grove Employment Law Attorneys for Your Small Business Needs

Illinois’ employment laws are constantly changing, and that can make staying compliant difficult for small businesses. Drost, Gilbert, Anderson & Apicella, LLC can help. Backed by decades of experience, our Long Grove employment law attorneys can assist with everything from the creation of employee handbooks to litigation. Schedule your consultation by calling us at 847-934-6000 today

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.




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