HR Support on Employee Time Off Policies

Editor's Note: Consider all forms of time off and apply policies consistently.

Melissa S. BurdorfOverview: Employers must be careful in administering and managing the various forms of an employee's time off from work. Some forms of time off may be legally required of certain employers - such as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Other forms of time off - such as paid time off (PTO) or bereavement leave - may be voluntarily offered by the employer. Employers must always consider what types of leave they are required to offer by law and in accordance with their policies - and in what situations. Most importantly, employers must apply all policies in a consistent and uniform manner.

When an employer creates leave policies or documents relating to time off, the employer should consider which employees will be eligible for the particular leaves (e.g., part-time versus full-time), the terms of the specific leave and the process for requesting leave. Employers should consider offering some form of time off, such as paid time off, to allow their employees to get some down time, which will assist the employer in employee recruitment and retention efforts.

Whether time off is legally required or voluntarily provided, all forms of time off (or leave) should be carefully tracked and documented. Supervisors and managers should be trained on the various forms of time off so they know how to apply the policies or practices properly and know when to reach out to HR. Larger multistate employers may consider adopting uniform time off policies across all states to ease administrative burdens and to create a more unified company culture.

Trends: Paid time off is generally not required by federal law. However, some states (e.g., California, Connecticut, Oregon and Massachusetts) and several municipalities (e.g., Newark, Trenton, New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle) require paid sick leave for eligible employees. Similar legislation is spreading in other jurisdictions.

Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor

Latest items in Time Off

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "accrual method" should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Accrual Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the accrual method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [10+ Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and have 10 or more employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have six or more employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide paid sick and safe time using the lump sum method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Unpaid Sick and Safe Time Handbook Statement [1-9 Employees; Lump Sum Method]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers that are not located in Portland and that have fewer than 10 employees working anywhere in Oregon or Oregon employers that are located in Portland and have fewer than six employees working anywhere in Oregon and that seek to provide unpaid sick and safe time using the "lump sum" method should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • FMLA: Washington

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • FMLA: New York

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.

  • Family and Medical Leave Handbook Statement (25-49 Employees): Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon during each work day in 20 or more calendar workweeks in either the calendar year in which the leave will be taken or the preceding calendar year are covered by the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Family and Medical Leave Handbook Statement [50+ Employees]: Oregon

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Oregon employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon during each work day in 20 or more calendar workweeks in either the calendar year in which the leave will be taken or the preceding calendar year, are covered by the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) and should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Sick Time Handbook Statement [1-10 Employees]: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Massachusetts employers with 10 or fewer employees that seek to educate employees about the availability of unpaid sick time and to show their compliance with the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (ESTL) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Paid Sick Time Handbook Statement [11+ Employees]: Massachusetts

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Massachusetts employers with an average of 11 or more employees that seek to to educate employees about the availability of paid sick time and to show their compliance with the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (ESTL) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.