USERRA and Other Uncommon Leave Types
Although most employers are familiar with frequently requested leave types like FMLA, there are a number of other types of leave. Some, like USERRA, are national laws; most are found only in a handful of states. Here are some other leaves that employers should be aware of.
USERRA, or the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, guarantees that employees returning from military service or training have the right to be re-employed at their former job (or at a job as comparable as possible) with the same benefits.
Administered by the Department of Labor (DOL), USERRA applies to almost all employers, regardless of size. USERRA covers every branch of military service and their reserves, as well as National Guard duty. If an employee taking USERRA leave is covered under the employer health insurance plan, the employer must make arrangements for continuing the coverage. Employers can allow, but may not require, employees to use their accrued paid time off (PTO) or vacation benefits for military-related absences.
Other good sources of information on USERRA leaves:
DOL guide to USERRA
School Activities Leave (School-Related Parental Leave)
Eight states and Washington D.C. currently have laws that require employers to provide leave specifically for parents to attend school activities. As of August, 2021, the states that have enacted school activities leave laws are: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Eligibility, leave length, and other details vary by state.
Domestic Violence/Crime Victim Leave
A few US states have laws guaranteeing time off from work for victims of domestic violence (and crime victims, in some states) and/or laws protecting victims from employment discrimination related to domestic violence. As of August 2021, the states that have enacted such laws include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington. New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. also have such laws. The details of the state and municipal laws vary widely.
Jury Duty Leave
There is no national requirement for jury duty leave. However, fifteen states specifically prohibit employers from requiring employees to take paid vacation, sick, personal, or other types of leave while they are serving on a jury: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.