In Vermont, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. VT Dept. of Labor FAQs.
An employer must pay an employee for accrued vacation upon separation from employment if its policy or contract provides for such payment. VT Dept. of Labor FAQs.
Neither Vermont’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 Vermont’s authorities are silent regarding many vacation policy issues, based on the contractual emphasis Vermont has placed on vacation policies, an employer is likely free to implement the vacation policy of its choosing. VT Dept. of Labor FAQs. An employer is required to comply with the terms of the policy it chooses to implement. VT Dept. of Labor FAQs.
Vermont law requires employers to provide employees with earned sick leave benefits. VT Statute 21-481 to 487; VT Earned Sick Time Act Poster; VT Dept. of Labor FAQ. 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 Vermont may also be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with Vermont’s Parental and Family Leave Law (VT Statute 21-470 to 474) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Vermont law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. VT Dept. of Labor FAQs In Vermont, 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 Vermont State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Vermont 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 discharge an employee by reason of his service as a juror, or penalize such employee or deprive him of any right, privilege, or benefit on a basis which discriminates between such employee and other employees not serving as jurors. All employees shall be considered in the service of their employer during all times while serving as jurors in accordance with this section for purposes of determining seniority, fringe benefits, credit toward vacations and other rights, privileges, and benefits of employment.
Vermont does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employee leave, paid or unpaid, to vote.
Vermont 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 Medical Leave
Vermont labor law covers employees both at the federal and state level. Like other states, Vermont employers must abide by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, the state offers additional medical leave options to employees.
On the federal level, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave within 12 months. This type of leave renews every 12 months, giving that the employees continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
The eligibility requirements for the Family and Medical Leave Act include:
- Employees must work for their employer for a minimum of one year
- Employees must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours the previous year
- Employees must work at a location with a minimum of 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
When taking medical leave under FMLA, employees may be eligible for 12 weeks of leave for the following instances:
- Recovering from a serious health condition
- Assisting a family member with recuperating from a health condition
- Caring for an ill or injured military family member
- Bonding with a new child
During this unpaid leave, employers must provide employees with access to their health insurance plans. Additionally, employees can use accrued paid time off during their medical leave.
On the state level, Vermont law also offers additional coverages.
The state implemented Vermont’s specific Family and Medical Leave Law in 2014. This law allows employees to request flexible work arrangements two times per year. It does not mandate employers to grant flexible work arrangements but requires them to consider employees’ needs seriously.
Additionally, the state has a Small Necessities Law. Under this law, employers must provide employees with 24 hours of leave within 12 months. Employees cannot take more than four hours of leave per 30-day period.
Military members in Vermont are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:
- Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
- Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the exact (or equivalent) previously held position
- Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)
There are additional protections granted to employees with military personnel status in Vermont. A few examples of these protections include:
- Employees cannot be required to use accrued leave or vacation for active duty.
- Employers cannot discriminate against any employees in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Members in the armed forces reserves are eligible for 15 days/year of unpaid leave for military duties.