Pennsylvania Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Pennsylvania, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs, Pennsylvania Stat. 43:260.2a.

An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. Pennsylvania Stat. 43:260.2a.



Neither Pennsylvania’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 Pennsylvania’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Pennsylvania has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of its policy or contract. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs.



Sick Leave

Pennsylvania 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. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs.

An employer in Pennsylvania 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

Pennsylvania law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Pennsylvania, 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.

State holidays

Visit our Pennsylvania State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Pennsylvania 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 for time spent responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury.

An employer may not deprive an employee of his or her seniority position or benefits, or discharge, threaten, or otherwise coerce him or her, because the employee receives and/or responds to a summons, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service. This prohibition does not apply to employers in the retail or service industries with fewer than 15 employees or to employers in the manufacturing industry with fewer than 40 employees. However, employees working for employers in these industries who are exempt from the law due to their limited number of employees may be excused from jury service upon request to the court.

Pennsylvania Stat. 42:4563



Voting Leave

Pennsylvania does not have any laws that require an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.



Bereavement Leave

Pennsylvania law does not require employers to provide employee bereavement leave. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employer may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.