ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1653



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By House Committee on Commerce & Labor (originally sponsored by Representatives Pruitt, Peery and Dellwo).


Read first time March 6, 1991.  Authorizing release time for partners in education.

     AN ACT Relating to partners in education; and adding a new chapter to Title 49 RCW.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that the children in this state are the state's most valuable resource and that the assistance of every citizen in this state is required to help children receive the education that will help children become responsible citizens.  A significant part of providing that assistance is encouraging parents and other members of the community to work together with the school staff to achieve excellent schools.  The legislature finds that this investment of time will contribute to the growth, vitality, and greater productivity of every citizen of this state.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.      Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Employee" means a person other than an independent contractor employed by an employer on a continuous basis for the previous fifty-two weeks for at least thirty-five hours per week.

     (2) "Employer" means:

     (a) A person, firm, corporation, partnership, business trust, legal representative, or other business entity that engages in any business, industry, profession, or activity in this state and includes any unit of local government including, but not limited to, a county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or political subdivision, that:

     (i) Employed a daily average of one hundred or more employees during the last calendar quarter at the place where the employee requesting leave reports for work; or

     (ii) Employed a daily average of one hundred or more employees during the last calendar quarter within a twenty-mile radius of the place where the employee reports for work, where the employer maintains a central hiring location and customarily transfers employees among workplaces; and

     (b) The state, state institutions, and state agencies.

     (3) "Public schools" means the common schools of the state of Washington as defined under RCW 28A.150.010 and 28A.150.020.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.      (1) An employee is entitled to sixty hours of school service leave per year with not more than eight hours in any one week to perform the following duties:

     (a) Serving as the chief elected official of a parent and teacher organization of a public school;

     (b) Serving as a member of a school site-based council or other type of school committee where a process is established for selecting members including parents, other community representatives, teachers, classified school employees, and administrative school employees; or

     (c) Serving as a member of the school district board of directors or the state board of education.

     (2) The employer may require the employee to submit a letter from the school principal or school district superintendent stating that the employee holds one of the positions under subsection (1) of this section.

     (3) The leave required by this section may be unpaid.  If an employer provides paid school service leave for fewer than sixty hours, the additional hours of leave added to attain the sixty-hour total may be unpaid.

     (4) The taking of leave under this chapter shall not result in the loss of any benefit, including seniority or pension rights, accrued before the date on which the leave commenced.

     (5) An employer may limit or deny school service leave to either:

     (a) Up to ten percent of the employer's work force in the state designated as key personnel by the employer.  Any designation made under this section shall take effect thirty days after it is issued and may be changed no more than once in any twelve-month period.  An employer shall not designate key personnel on the basis of age or gender or for the purpose of evading the requirements of this chapter.  An employee shall not be designated as key personnel after requesting school service leave under this section.  The designation as key personnel shall be in writing and posted in a conspicuous place at the work site; or

     (b) If the employer does not designate key personnel, the highest paid ten percent of the employer's employees in the state.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.      Sections 1 through 3 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 49 RCW.