At The Forefront Of Disability And Elder Law

Attending IEP meetings with FMLA

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Special Education Law |

If a parent needs to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), it can take a lot of time and effort. Since Washington does not have a set standard for IEPs, it may vary hugely between schools and students alike.

How can a parent use the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to ensure that they get the time they need to create a good IEP?

Understanding IEPs

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction discusses details about IEP. These plans should exist to allow any student to achieve financial success regardless of any mental or physical disabilities that they may also deal with.

How does the FMLA help parents who need to work on an IEP? Since parents need to attend every IEP meeting to create the best plan, they will likely need to take time away from work. Most of the IEP meetings happen during workdays, after all.

2019 ruling on FMLA and IEPs

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor ruled that parents could use FMLA paid leave in order to attend these IEP meetings. They decided this for several reasons, including the IEP being a required document for students enrolling in any special education services. It also includes the fact that people who qualify for an IEP usually have serious and life-altering conditions, and that these meetings will focus on arrangements for care.

Any employer with over 50 employees thusly cannot deny a parent paid time off to attend IEP meetings. They must allow for up to 12 weeks of paid time off in a 12-month period, and they cannot fire a person for taking this time to attend IEP meetings.


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