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When Super Bowl Sunday's Fever Becomes Super Bowl Monday's Flu
February 2, 2018
When Super Bowl Sunday's Fever Becomes Super Bowl Monday's Flu

Attorney Andrew Li reviews NJ law for how to handle absences the day after the Super Bowl.

More than 111 million fans across the county are expected to watch the showdown in Minneapolis between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. This year, the stakes are high, especially for southern and central New Jersey whose hometown favorites are in the Super Bowl for the first time in over a decade.

Last year, a major corporation started an online petition seeking to make the Monday following the Super Bowl a national holiday -- no doubt motivated by statistics such as the estimated $1.78 billion loss in employee productivity. This year, by one estimate, employee absenteeism could be responsible for costing employers more than $3 billion.

What should school districts do if their students are absent on the day after the big game?

NJAC 6A:32-8.3 requires that every student must be marked, for attendance purposes, as “present”, “absent” or “excused for religious observance” for every day that school is in session. (Keep in mind that a school day is only considered to be in session when “the school is open and students are under the guidance and direction of a teacher or teachers engaged in the teaching process”).

Furthermore, NJAC 6A:16-7.6 requires that all school districts adopt an attendance policy which includes a “definition of unexcused absence that counts toward truancy” and, per NJAC 6A:32-8.3, even an “excused absence for any reason shall not be counted as a day of attendance in the school register.”

Districts should look to their attendance policies, with an eye towards what constitutes an excused versus an unexcused student absence, especially if the Eagles win Sunday night.

For more information, contact the attorneys in Parker McCay’s Public Schools and Education Department.

The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.

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