(a) It is the belief of the General Assembly that parent involvement is an essential component of school success and positive student outcomes. Therefore, employers shall grant four hours per year leave to any employee who is a parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis of a school-aged child so that the employee may attend or otherwise be involved at that child's school. However, any leave under this section is subject to the following conditions:
(1) The leave shall be at a mutually agreed upon time between the employer and the employee.
(2) The employer may require an employee to provide the employer with a written request for the leave at least 48 hours before the time desired for the leave.
(3) The employer may require that the employee furnish written verification from the child's school that the employee attended or was otherwise involved at that school during the time of the leave.
For the purpose of this section, "school" means any (i) public school, (ii) private church school, church of religious charter, or nonpublic school described in Parts 1 and 2 of Article 39 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes that regularly provides a course of grade school instruction, (iii) preschool, and (iv) child care facility as defined in G.S. 110-86(3).
(b) Employers shall not discharge, demote, or otherwise take an adverse employment action against an employee who requests or takes leave under this section. Nothing in this section shall require an employer to pay an employee for leave taken under this section.
(c) An employee who is demoted or discharged or who has had an adverse employment action taken against him or her in violation of this section may bring a civil action within one year from the date of the alleged violation against the employer who violates this section and obtain either of the following:
(1) Any wages or benefits lost as a result of the violation; or
(2) An order of reinstatement without loss of position, seniority, wages, or benefits.
The burden of proof shall be upon the employee. (1993, c. 509, s. 1; 1997-506, s. 34.)