Nebraska Leave Laws
In Nebraska, 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. See Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2006).
In Nebraska, an employer can require employees to meet certain requirements before they can earn vacation leave. However, once employees earn vacation leave according to an employer’s policy or contract, an employer cannot deny payment for such vacation leave upon separation from employment, regardless of the reason. See Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1229(4); Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2006).
An employer may lawfully cap the number of vacation leave hours an employee can accrue.
An employer cannot implement a “use it or lose it” vacation policy requiring employees to use their earned vacation leave by a set date or lose it. See Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-1229(4); Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management, Inc., 272 Neb. 434, 722 N.W.2d 499 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2006).
Nebraska 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 does not need to pay an employee for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless required by policy or contract.
An employer in Nebraska may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Nebraska law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Nebraska, 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 Nebraska State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Nebraska as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer must pay an employee for time the employee is excused from shift work while serving on a jury, except an employer may reduce the pay of an employee by an amount equal to any compensation, other than expenses, paid the employee by the court for jury duty.
An employer may not subject an employee to discharge from employment, loss of pay, loss of sick leave, loss of vacation time, or any other form of penalty, as a result of his or her absence from employment due to jury duty, so long as the employee has provided reasonable notice to his or her employer of the jury summons.
Nebraska law allows employees who do not have two (2) consecutive hours when not required to be at work during polling hours are entitled to up to two (2) paid hours leave to vote. Pay cannot be deducted if the employee gives notice in advance of election day. The employer can set the time for leave to vote. Nebraska Stat. 32-922
Nebraska 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.