Alabama Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Alabama, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation leave, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide vacation leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. See Amoco Fabrics and Fibers Co. v. Hilson, 669 So.2d 832 (Ala. Sup. Ct. 1995); ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996).

An employer may lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment, whether by quit, discharge, or layoff.

An employer may also lawfully establish a policy or enter into a contract disqualifying employees from payment of accrued vacation upon separation from employment if they fail to comply with specific requirements, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year. See ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996).

An employer is required to pay accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract requires it. See Amoco Fabrics and Fibers Co. v. Hilson, 669 So.2d 832 (Ala. Sup. Ct. 1995); ISS International Service Systems v. Alabama Motor Express, 686 So.2d 1184 (Ala. App. 1996).




Sick Leave

Alabama law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. An employer is not required by Alabama law to pay accrued sick leave benefits to employees upon separation from employment.

An employer in Alabama may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

Alabama law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Alabama, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as one and a half (1½) times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Alabama State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Alabama as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

Alabama requires employers to grant paid leave to employees who are summoned for and participate in jury duty.

For the employee to be eligible for leave related to jury duty, the employee must show his or her employer the jury summons on the next day he or she is at work after receiving the summons. The employer must grant paid leave to the employee for the time required by the summons or required by any subsequent jury duty.

An employer cannot require or request an employee use annual, vacation, unpaid or sick leave for time spent complying with the jury summons or serving on a jury.

A court must automatically postpone or reschedule the jury duty of a summoned juror who is an employee of an employer with five or fewer full-time employees, if another employee of the employer has been summoned to appear during the same period.
Alabama Stat. 12-16-8

An employer may not discharge or take any other adverse employment action against an employee who is serving on a jury, so long as the employee returns to work on the next regular workday after being dismissed from jury duty.
Alabama Stat. 12-16-8.1



Voting Leave

Alabama law requires employers to grant employees up to one hour of unpaid leave to vote in any election. To be eligible for voting leave, an employee must be registered to vote and must make a reasonable request for the leave from his or her employer. An employer is exempt from the leave requirement if the polls open two hours before an employee’s work begins or remain open one hour after an employee’s work ends. If an employer is required to provide an employee time off to vote, it may specify the hours in which the employee may be absent. Alabama Stat. 17-1-5



Bereavement Leave

Alabama law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.