can you use fmla for iep meetings

Can You Use FMLA for IEP Meetings?

A parent’s top priority is taking care of their child’s needs. The Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) plays a vital role in this across multiple types of circumstances. Have you been wondering if you can use FMLA for IEP meetings? Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. cares for the well-being of children across Florida, and we are your go-to experts on employee rights.

FMLA & IEP: An Overview

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with severe health conditions have the right to an IEP education. This Individualized Education Program is developed by the school and includes regular meetings with parents to revise and modify the IEP to address the child’s ongoing and evolving needs. Participants in these meetings typically include teachers, school administrators, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, or other related services personnel.

Since parents have to take time off work to attend these meetings, it is important to know your employee rights when it comes to attending IEPs.

The Department of Labor (DOL) oversees the enforcement of the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including IEPs. The DOL states that FMLA leave can be used for IEP meetings to:

“address the educational and special medical needs of children who have serious health conditions as certified by a healthcare provider.”

Under the 29 C.F.R § 825.112(a)(3) regulation, the IEP meetings are essential to provide both physical and psychological care for children. It is important to know that your child’s doctor or other medical health care professional does not need to be present at the meeting to qualify for FMLA as mandated by the DOL.

Although this is the standard for IEP education set by the DOL, there are still certain requirements and limitations that parents should be aware of when it comes to using FMLA leave.

fmla rights in florida

FMLA Requirements & Limitations for IEP Meetings

The FMLA has certification requirements for children to qualify for IEP meetings. The regulation described above does not suspend these requirements. Employees still need to submit the certification paperwork that establishes that the child has a serious medical condition.

Also, most employers will require a certain amount of notice for you to take FMLA for your child’s IEP meetings. Because the IEP is an event a parent has advance notice of, the employer may properly require you to give advance notice: “An employee must provide the employer at least 30 days advance notice before FMLA leave is to begin if the need for the leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or of a family member, or the planned medical treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember. If 30 days notice is not practicable, such as because of a lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will be required to begin, a change in circumstances, or a medical emergency, notice must be given as soon as practicable.” Make sure to follow the guidelines your employer has for taking time off from work. If you have followed all appropriate measures and have been retaliated against by your employer, including being harassed, demoted, or fired, consult an employee rights lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

The FMLA is not wholly encompassing for all types of school meetings, though. For example, as a general rule, regular parent-teacher conferences or disciplinary meetings do not apply. The standards set by the DOL for taking FMLA for IEP meetings are:

“An employee must provide the employer at least 30 days advance notice before FMLA leave is to begin if the need for the leave is foreseeable based on an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or of a family member, or the planned medical treatment for a serious injury or illness of a covered servicemember. If 30 days notice is not practicable, such as because of a lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will be required to begin, a change in circumstances, or a medical emergency, notice must be given as soon as practicable.”

Make sure to follow the guidelines your employer has for taking time off from work. If you have followed all appropriate measures and have been retaliated against by your employer, including being harassed, demoted, or fired, consult an employee rights lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

The FMLA is not wholly encompassing for all types of school meetings, though. For example, as a general rule, regular parent-teacher conferences or disciplinary meetings do not apply. The standards set by the DOL for taking FMLA for IEP meetings are:

  • An employee is meeting with teachers and/or administrators and service professionals to make medical decisions regarding their child’s medically prescribed therapy
  • An employee is meeting with service providers such as speech therapists to talk about the child’s progress or well-being
  • An employee is meeting with teachers and/or school administrators to make sure that the child’s school environment is suitable for their academic, medical, or social needs
fmla attorney florida

Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A.: FMLA & Employee Rights Experts

We are the employee’s law firm and care deeply about employee rights and families across Florida. We understand the importance of IEP education and IEP meetings and are here to keep you informed and act as your legal advocate if your rights under the FMLA have been violated.

Helping thousands of employees across industries hold employers accountable for illegal behavior — we are experts on FMLA and employee rights.

Has your child met the criteria of getting an IEP education and your employer retaliated against you when you followed the rules?

Are you uncertain about the circumstances?

Know you do not have to face this fight alone. We offer free consultations to help you make the best legal decisions in FMLA cases and employee rights.

Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today to set up your free, confidential consultation. We want to help you get the time off you need for your child’s IEP education needs and protect your employee rights from employers who have violated the law by harassing, demoting, or firing you (or other types of retaliation).

We have offices across Florida, including Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach to help employees across the Sunshine State get the legal guidance they need to take care of their families.

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