New Hampshire Leave Laws
New Hampshire has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid.
Neither New Hampshire’s Legislature nor its courts have given any significant guidance regarding other potential vacation policy issues. They are silent regarding whether an employer may:
- establish a policy or enter into a contract denying employees payment for accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment,
- deny payment for accrued vacation to an employee upon separation from employment if its policy or contract is silent on the matter,
- require an employee to comply with specific requirements to qualify for payment of vacation leave upon separation from employment, such as giving two weeks notice or being employed as of a specific date of the year,
- cap the vacation leave an employee may accrued over time,
- implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it.
Although New Hampshire’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis New Hampshire has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. An employer must inform its employees in writing of its policies regarding vacation benefits, holiday pay, sick leave, severance, other types of leave, or other fringe benefits. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract.
New Hampshire 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 in New Hampshire may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
New Hampshire law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In New Hampshire, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 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.
Visit our New Hampshire State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of New Hampshire as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee any wages for time spent complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not discharge, threaten, or coerce an employee for receiving and/or responding to a summons, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service.
New Hampshire does not require an employer to provide employees time off to vote, either paid or unpaid. It does provides that an employee who is unable to vote on election day due to employment obligations is considered absent and entitled to absentee voting. New Hampshire Stat. 657.1
New Hampshire 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.