News & Announcements

FMLA Intermittent Leave OK for Child’s Special Education Meetings

Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:27 am

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) issued three new opinion letters—one related to intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and two related to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The question in FMLA2019-2-A was whether a mother could take intermittent FMLA leave to attend a meeting to discuss her children’s Individualized Education Programs (“IEPs”).  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) requires public schools to develop IEPs for children who receive special education and related services (e.g., audiology, counseling, medical services).  The opinion letter concluded that a mother’s need to attend meetings addressing the educational and special medical needs of her children—who have serious health conditions as certified by a health care provider—is a qualifying reason for taking intermittent FMLA leave.  The opinion letter indicated that its analysis and conclusion would apply to any meetings held pursuant to the IDEA, and any applicable state or local law.

In the second letter, FLSA2019-11, the WHD concluded that where a public employee works for both the fire and police departments of the same public agency, the employee’s hours from both departments are aggregated for purposes of overtime pay.

The WHD stated in the third letter, FLSA2019-12, that Reserve Deputies who volunteer for the Sheriff’s Office and also perform paid security work for third parties maintain their status as volunteers under the FLSA because they are not provided compensation from the Sheriff’s office, but only provided access to extra security work paid by third parties.

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