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, PA Statute 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. PA Statute 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 accrue 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.
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.
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. PA Dept. of Labor: Wage and Hour FAQs
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 does not have any laws that require an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
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. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice it maintains.
Family and Medical Leave Act
Employers in Pennsylvania must adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which allows workers to receive unpaid leave for various circumstances, with the right to return to their position.
If an employer in Pennsylvania has at least 50 workers for a minimum of 20 weeks in the previous or the current year, they must adhere to all standards set out in the FMLA.
Employees must meet specific requirements to be eligible for time off under the FMLA. An employee must have been with the company for at least one year, they must have worked for a minimum of 1,250 hours in the last 12 months, and they must have worked at a company with a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
Some conditions must be met for an employee to take FMLA leave, including:
- Recuperating from a serious illness or injury
- Being seriously ill
- Taking time to bond with a new child
- Handling qualifying circumstances that arise from a family member’s active military service
- Caring for a military member who has suffered an injury during active military duty.
- Caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
An employee who qualifies under the FMLA has the right to take up to 12 weeks of weeks every year. These 12 weeks of leave renew every year, as long as the employee continues to meet all eligibility requirements.
Moreover, if the time off is taken to take care of a family member injured during active military service, this period may be extended to 26 weeks within a year. However, this leave is on a per-service or per-injury entitlement. Therefore, the employee may not take additional leave unless the same family member is injured again or a different family member suffers an injury during active duty.
Once FMLA leave is over, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same position or an equivalent position if this is not available.
While on leave, the employee has the right to continue paying and receiving their health insurance at the same cost that they paid while working.
FMLA leave is unpaid, although some employees may be allowed or required to use accrued leave during leave.
Pennsylvania has a military leave law that provides active military members and uniformed service members protection for their jobs. Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard or any reserve component of the US armed forces, following an emergency or other military duties, have the right to be reinstated to their original jobs. All job benefits are also extended during active military duty.