Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Sep 11, 2014

How does military leave impact use of vacation time?

Q&ALeave Laws 

Q: Can we require an employee taking military leave to use accrued vacation? Conversely, do we have to allow an employee taking military leave to use accrued vacation?

A: An employer can’t require an employee who is taking military leave to use accrued vacation or other paid leave during the time that they’re serving. However, if the employee wants to use accrued vacation or paid leave, the employer must allow them to do so. Generally, employers are more than willing to allow employees to use accrued vacation when they are taking military leave, but may feel frustrated when an employee doesn’t tell them far in advance of the need for leave. It’s important to remember that an employee must notify their employer either orally or in writing of a need for leave, but there is no set amount of notice required. So an employer can’t prohibit use of vacation or other paid leave if the employee provides late notice of the need for military leave.

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