Jan. 17, 2019, marks the fourth day of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers’ strike. For now, the nation’s second largest school district is using substitute teachers to keep classrooms open on a regular schedule for the hundreds of thousands of elementary, middle, and high-school students LAUSD serves, though as discussed below, certain programs for younger children have been suspended.

The strike, which includes not only teachers but also other school staff such as nurses, librarians, and counselors, raises serious questions for parents: Should they send their children to thinly staffed schools or keep them home? How long will the strike last? How long can the current arrangement continue? What can they do if they’re scheduled to work but have a young child whose early education program is closed, or an older child with medical or special needs? It also raises questions for employers.

If your business employs anyone with young and school-age children (or even grandchildren), you already may have started fielding questions from parents about time off to find care or supervision for them during the strike. What you may not have realized is that, depending on the size of your business, California’s child-related activities leave law may enable some of your employees to take job-protected time off – up to 40 hours per year – to deal with school and child care-related issues. Cal. Lab. Code § 230.8. This GT Alert provides a brief overview of the obligations employers may have under this law to provide time off for parents and grandparents of young and school-age children or grandchildren.

To read the full GT Alert, click here.