Does an employer have to give time off to employees?

Whether an employer must give time off to employees depends partially on how many people are employed by the employer. It also depends on specific state laws pertaining to employee leaves.

Federal law regulates employee leaves only in limited fashion and generally speaking, only for larger employers., i.e., those with 50 or more employees. Such employers must provide up to 12 weeks off to covered employees for a “serious health condition” for themselves or certain family members. This law grants the employee reinstatement rights after taking lawful leave.

State laws differ as to what, if any leaves, are mandated. Some states require employers to allow leaves for pregnancy, voting, domestic violence, various parental leaves relating to care of minors, volunteer emergency services, adult literacy, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, etc. Some of these leaves may require the employee be reinstated after completion of the leave.

Check with your local employment attorney for leaves that may be specifically mandated by your state.