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
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to USERRA
In-depth review of the spectrum of Pennsylvania employment law requirements HR must follow in respect to FMLA.
California employers seeking to educate employees about the availability of paid sick and safe time and to show their compliance with California's Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act (HWHFA) should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
North Dakota employers that provide paid vacation or paid time off (PTO) and seek to indicate that North Dakota employees will receive pay for accrued but unused vacation or PTO upon termination of employment should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
An employer may use this policy to communicate when an employee may take a personal leave of absence and what types of documentation and notice the employee needs to provide the employer.
This section helps HR professionals understand the value of offering different forms of paid leave (e.g., vacation time, personal time and holidays). This section also discusses the use of paid time off banks.
Announcing a reorganization of employee benefits content along with the addition of state sections, to enhance the subscriber experience.
While there is no federal law that specifically protects employees who are victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault and/or other crimes, many states have enacted laws granting job protection and leave to such employees and/or employees whose family members have been victimized. These laws also typically prohibit employers from penalizing or terminating an employee because the employee exercises his or her rights as a crime victim or a victim of domestic violence which includes attending court as a witness in a related criminal proceeding. An employer should publish a written policy if the employer is located in a state that requires such leave or if this is an important value to the employer.
An employer may use this policy to set standards on employee bereavement leave and to show support for employees during stressful or tragic times in the personal lives of employees. Although a Bereavement Leave Policy is not required by federal or state law, such policies are important for employee morale.
HR guidance on administering and managing employees' time off from work.