In Wyoming, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. WY Atty Gen. Opinion No. 63-53. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. WY Stat. 27-4-507; WY Atty Gen. Opinion No. 63-53.
In Wyoming, an employer may have a policy that it does not pay employees for accrued but unused vacation leave upon separation from employment but only if the employee has acknowledged the employer’s forfeiture policy in writing. WY Stat. 27-4-501(a)(iii). If an employee has not acknowledged the employer’s policy in writing or the employer’s policy is silent on the issue, the employer must pay the employee for accrued but unused vacation leave upon separation from employment. WY Atty Gen. Opinion No. 63-53
An employer may require employees to be employed on a specific date before they receive their allotment of vacation leave, such as having to be employed at the start of a calendar year or on their anniversary date. WY Atty Gen. Opinion No. 63-53
Wyoming employers may implement “use-it-or-lost-it” policies requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it; however, for a “use-it-or-lost-it” policy to be lawful, employers must give employees a reasonable opportunity to use any accrued vacation time before it is lost. WY Atty Gen. Opinion No. 63-53
Wyoming 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. WY Dept. of Workforce Services FAQs.
An employer in Wyoming may be required to provide an employee sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Wyoming law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Wyoming, 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 Wyoming State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Wyoming 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, threaten to discharge, intimidate or coerce any employee by reason of the employee’s attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with jury service. Wyoming Stat. 1-11-401
Wyoming law requires employers to provide an employee with one (1) hour of paid leave to vote in a primary, general, or special election to fill a seat for the United States Congress, if the employee does not have three (3) or more consecutive off-duty hours in which to vote while polls are open. An employer may dictate when an employee takes paid voting leave. WY Stat. 22-2-111
Wyoming 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
Wyoming labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with family and medical leave. Wyoming employers must follow the guidelines of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
FMLA is a federal program requiring employers to give their eligible employees 12 weeks of leave within 12 months. This amount of leave renews so long as employees continue to meet the criteria, their leave will renew.
There are several instances where you could be eligible for leave under FMLA, including:
- Caring for an ill family member
- Recuperating from a severe ailment
- Assisting a sick or injured military family member
- Bonding with a new child
- Dealing with circumstances arising from a serious health condition
However, not all employees are qualified to receive FMLA coverage on their first day of employment.
To receive these leave benefits, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have worked for the employer for a minimum of one year
- Have worked a minimum of 1250 hours the previous year
- Work in a location with 50+ employees within a 75-mile radius
Currently, the state does not offer state-level leave policies for employers to follow. However, private employers can develop individual leave policies. Any leave options must be outlined in employment contracts and followed.
Military members in Wyoming 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)
Wyoming has unique leave laws regarding military employees. Individuals in the armed forces and volunteers may receive up to five years of unpaid leave for active duty, physical examinations, and training. It is also the responsibility of employees to notify their employer of upcoming military-related duties.
Much like USERRA outlines, employees cannot be discriminated against for serving in the military. Additionally, employees must return to work within a reasonable time frame, though this varies by employer.
As mentioned, all military employees must be offered the exact position held before active duty.