Overview: 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 (such as Connecticut) and municipalities (such as New York City and Seattle) require paid sick leave for eligible employees. Similar legislation is spreading in other jurisdictions.
Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor
Starting January 1, 2015, the date for determining the 50-employee threshold for employer coverage under Connecticut's paid sick leave law will change from January 1 to October 1, annually. Employers will be prohibited from terminating or transferring an employee to avoid coverage.
A bevy of new employment laws have been signed in Maryland in recent months, including the legalization of medical marijuana; an increased state minimum wage; and expanded parental leave rights. Baltimore employment attorney Frank Kollman, of Kollman & Saucier, breaks down the developments.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Minnesota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA
In-depth review of the spectrum of Minnesota employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to jury duty leave.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Maryland employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to FMLA.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices concerning handling typical issues associated with bereavement leave.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices for administering intermittent and reduced schedule leave under the FMLA, including notice and medical certification requirements and tracking and calculating leaves.
In-depth review of the spectrum of West Virginia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to FMLA.
HR guidance on administering and managing employees' time off from work.