State law requires employers to offer leave for parents to participate in school activities.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-15 School conference and activity leave
(a) An employer must grant an employee leave of up to a total of 8 hours during any school year, and no more than 4 hours of which may be taken on any given day, to attend school conferences or classroom activities related to the employee’s child if the conference or classroom activities cannot be scheduled during nonwork hours; however, no leave may be taken by an employee of an employer that is subject to this Act unless the employee has exhausted all accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave and any other leave that may be granted to the employee except sick leave and disability leave. Before arranging attendance at the conference or activity, the employee shall provide the employer with a written request for leave at least 7 days in advance of the time the employee is required to utilize the visitation right. In emergency situations, no more than 24 hours notice shall be required. The employee must consult with the employer to schedule the leave so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employer. (b) Nothing in this Act requires that the leave be paid. (c) For regularly scheduled, nonemergency visitations, schools shall make time available for visitation during both regular school hours and evening hours.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-20 Compensation
An employee who utilizes or seeks to utilize the rights afforded by this Act may choose the opportunity to make up the time so taken as guaranteed by this Act on a different day or shift as directed by the employer. An employee who exercises his rights under this Act shall not be required to make up the time taken, but if such employee does not make up the time taken, such employee shall not be compensated for the time taken. An employee who does make up the time taken shall be paid at the same rate as paid for normal working time. Employers shall make a good faith effort to permit an employee to make up the time taken for the purposes of this Act. If no reasonable opportunity exists for the employee to make up the time taken, the employee shall not be paid for the time. A reasonable opportunity to make up the time taken does not include the scheduling of make-up time in a manner that would require the payment of wages on an overtime basis. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, if unpaid leave under this Act conflicts with the unreduced compensation requirement for exempt employees under the federal Fair Labor Standard Act [29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.], an employer may require an employee to make up the leave hours within the same pay period.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-25 Notification
The State Superintendent of Education shall notify each public and private primary and secondary school of this Act. Each public and private school shall notify parents or guardians of the school’s students of their school visitation rights. The Department of Labor shall notify employers of this Act.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-30 Verification
Upon completion of school visitation rights by a parent or guardian, the school administrator shall provide the parent or guardian documentation of the school visitation. The parent or guardian shall submit such verification to the employer. The State Superintendent and the Director of the Department of Labor shall suggest a standard form of documentation of school visitation to schools for use as required by this Section. The standard form of documentation shall include, but not be limited to, the exact time and date the visitation occurred and ended. Failure of a parent or guardian to submit the verification statement from the school to his or her employer within 2 working days of the school visitation subjects the employee to the standard disciplinary procedures imposed by the employer for unexcused absences from work.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-35 Employee rights.
No employee shall lose any employee benefits, except as provided for in Section 20 of this Act [820 ILCS 147/20], for exercising his or her rights under this Act. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect an employer’s obligation to comply with any collective bargaining agreement or employee benefit plan. Nothing in this Act shall prevent an employer from providing school visitation rights in excess of the requirements of this Act. The rights afforded by this Act shall not be diminished by any collective bargaining act or by any employee benefit plan.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-40 Applicability
This Act applies solely to public and private employers that employ at least 50 or more individuals in Illinois, and to their employees.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-45 Violation
Any employer who violates this Act is guilty of a petty offense and may be fined not more than $100 for each offense.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-49 Limits on leave
No employer that is subject to this Act is required to grant school visitation leave to an employee if granting the leave would result in more than 5% of the employer’s work force or 5% of an employer’s work force shift taking school conference or activity leave at the same time.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 820-147-5. Policy.
The General Assembly of the State of Illinois finds that the basis of a strong economy is an educational system reliant upon parental involvement. The intent of this Act is to permit employed parents and guardians who are unable to meet with educators because of a work conflict the right to an allotment of time during the school year to attend necessary educational or behavioral conferences at the school their children attend.