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FMLA Leave May Be Used For Attending IEP Meetings

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the opinion letter of WHD Opinion Letter FMLA2019-2-A, (Aug. 8, 2019) (which can be read by clicking here), opining that employers must allow eligible employees to take intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) for the purpose of attending Individualized Education Plan (“IEP”) meetings for their children who have serious health conditions as certified by a health care provider.

In WHD Opinion Letter FMLA-94, (Feb. 27, 1998) (which can be read by clicking here), the DOL previously opined that attendance at care conferences for a family member’s ill health is an allowable FMLA leave reason.

In this opinion letter, the DOL extended the care conference allowance to IEP meetings for children with a serious health condition as certified by a health care provider as such attendance is “essential to an employee’s ability to provide appropriate physical or psychological care” to the child. FMLA2019-2-A at 3. As a result, the DOL opined that IEP meetings may be a permissible reason for taking intermittent leave under the FMLA.

Please note that the DOL’s opinion may have turned out much differently if the child did not actually have a serious health condition certified by a health care provider as not all parents may be able to attend IEP meetings using FMLA leave.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing like the Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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