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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20392
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Can my employer refuse me the time off from work if my child

Customer Question

Can my employer refuse me the time off from work if my child does not have appropriate daycare or another qualified adult to take care of him? I have been threatened my job if I request time off for my child not having appropriate care available, but myself.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Iowa
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Im not sure, I think that's it. I'm just beginning my search for information
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 9 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. An employer in Iowa has not duty to accommodate the childcare needs of their employees. So, yes, an employer may discipline, including termination, if an employee is absent for this reason unless the employee has preapproved vacation leave they are taking. The only small exception to this rule is that an employer may not deny an employee time off if they are only doing so because of the employee's gender, race, national origin, disability, religion, age (over 40), pregnancy or military service. So, for example, they would run afoul of the law if they routinely approved a woman's request to take time off for childcare reasons but did not approve a man's similar request. Otherwise though, as long as they are being evenhanded and not biased based on one of the stated reasons, they do not have to accommodate the employee.

Please feel free to ask related follow up questions if you have them. If none, then if you could let me know I answered your question and also take a moment to leave a positive rating in the ratings box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 7th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.