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Arkansas Leave Laws

laws

Vacation

In Arkansas, 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 St. Edward Mercy Medical Center v. Ellison, 946 S.W.2d 726 (Ark. App., Div. 4 1997); Oil Fields Corp. v. Hess, 53 S.W. 2d 444 (Ark. 1932). 

The rollover policy

  • Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Arkansas does not have any state statute governing the payment of vacation time 

  • Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy

Not addressed by state statute. This depends on the employer’s contract and policy.

  • Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination

Unused vacation must be paid if employer’s policy or contract is to pay.

Earned, unused vacation must be paid to departing employees if the employer provides paid vacation according to an accrual plan and vacation is earned according to that plan (Oil Fields Corp. v. Hess, 186 Ark. 241 (1932), Waymack v. KCLA, 664 S.W.2d 509 (Ark. Ct. App. 1984)).

Accruals

No federal or state law in Arkansas requires employers to pay out an employee’s accrued vacation, sick leave, or other paid time off (PTO) at the termination of employment.

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA

n addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Disability Act (For more information, look under the section Federal laws, Family and Medical Leave Act and under General Information, Maternity, Paternity, and FMLA), Arkansas has the following laws:

The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of gender, including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.

Under this Act Employers must ensure that their policies do not negatively impact one sex more than another. Employees who are affected with pregnancy are treated the same as employees with disabilities.

The Act covers employers with nine or more employees (AR Code Sec. 16-123-101 et seq.).

Adoptive Parent Leave

An employer that permits maternity leave or paternity leave for a biological parent after the birth of a child must permit maternity or paternity leave for an adoptive parent upon placement of an adoptive child in the adoptive parent’s home if requested by the adoptive parent.

If the employer has established a policy that provides leave time for a biological parent after the birth of a child, the same policy must apply to an adoptive parent upon placement of an adoptive child in the adoptive parent’s home, as well as any other benefit provided by an employer, such as job protection or pay guarantee.

The law only applies to the adoption of a person up to 18 years of age and future parents who are not foster child’s foster parents. 

Jury Duty Leave

Employees may not be discharged or otherwise penalized during their leave. An employer is not allowed to ask employees to use their sick leave or vacation time while performing their jury duty. An employer is not required to pay an employee for jury duty leave.

Bereavement Leave

No federal or state law requires an employer to provide an employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.

Voting Leave

The statute does not specify a period of absence. An employer must schedule an employee’s work hours on Election Day so that each employee has the opportunity to vote. The statute does not specify whether the absence must be paid.

Military Leave

In addition to the federal USERRA, Arkansas law provides job protections to members of the state armed forces, including the National Guard, a reserve component of the armed forces or militia. Employers are required to allow unpaid leave to state military members when called to active duty in the state as though they had been called to U.S. active duty. Employees must be reinstated to their original position upon being released from duty.

  Ark. Code Ann. § 12-62-413

Employees called by the Governor to active duty in the Arkansas National Guard or the state militia have the same leave and reinstatement rights and benefits guaranteed under USERRA. Public employees have special rights of paid leave, retention of insurance, and retirement benefits under Ark. Code Ann. § 21-4-212.