Nebraska Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Nebraska

Vacation Leave Quota 

Nebraska law requires no vacation days. 

Since there is no federal or state law concerning this subject, employers in Nebraska aren’t required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave to their employees. However, employers often choose to provide vacation benefits as it is one of the most desired perks for employees. So, if an employer chooses to offer vacation leave to their employees, paid or unpaid, it must comply with applicable state law, established policy, or an employment contract. 

Furthermore, an employer may choose to provide vacation benefits to some employees while not providing them to others as long as it is not based on age, race, or gender. 

Accrual 

PTO accrual system is not mandatory in Nebraska, but it is widely used by companies.    

The accrual system is based on the pay period. Payday is designated by the employer, in Nebraska. The most common pay period in Nebraska is monthly. 

Employers can establish guidelines that employees must meet before accruing vacation leave. 

Employers can also cap (limit) the amount of vacation time employees can accrue or receive. 

Roll Over 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is prohibited by state law.  

A “use-it-or-lose-it” employee vacation policy requires an employee to lose any unused vacation time after a specific date, such as the end of the year. Nebraska is one of the few states in the U.S. where this policy is prohibited.  

An employer, on the other hand, can have a policy that limits (caps) an employee’s right to earn vacation time at a certain number of hours. When an employee’s earned vacation hours fall below that threshold, the employee’s ability to earn vacation pay is reinstated. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

Earned vacation time is considered wages. 

Paid vacation is a type of fringe benefit, which is considered wages.  

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

An employer can’t deny payment for unused vacation. 

All earned and unused vacation must be paid to employees upon separation from the company, regardless of the reason. All this applies unless the employer and employee or the employer and the collective-bargaining representative have specifically agreed otherwise. 

Sick Leave in Nebraska

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

Federal law requires 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.    

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to all the states in the U.S.A. The leave is job-protected.  

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits only if:       

  • they have been working for their employer for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • they work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)        

The FMLA entitles qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks off for:    

  • personal medical reasons – illness or injury  
  • to care for a close family member (child, spouse, or parent) suffering from a severe illness 
  • for maternity or paternity leave.    

Employers are free to propose additional sick leave benefits that are better than the minimum federal requirement.     

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more.   

Nebraska State Laws 

There are no additional state sick leave laws.   

Some states mandate businesses to provide employees with a specific number of paid sick days, but neither federal law nor Nebraska labor rules oblige employers to provide paid or unpaid leave. Still, eligible employers in Nebraska must comply with the FMLA.  

Nonetheless, it is necessary to remember that if an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the employment contract or employee handbook. This way, an employer may create a legal obligation to grant it. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in Nebraska

Federal Law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave is provided by FMLA.     

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for family or medical reasons, including maternity or paternity leave. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously. More information about FMLA eligibility can be found above, under the section Sick Leave in Nebraska: Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is one more federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance.      

Additional State Laws in Nebraska 

Nebraska Adoption Leave 

All employers that provide parental leave following the birth of a child must make the same leave available to parents who adopt a child under the age of nine, or under the age of 19, if the child has special needs. This law does not apply to stepparent or foster parent adoptions. 

Payout 

Maternity leave in Nebraska is unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in Nebraska

An employer is not required to give bereavement leave.    

An employer is not legally required to provide any paid or unpaid bereavement leave, or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. However, most employers do provide at least 2 days, so employers who decide to provide bereavement leave must follow the bereavement policy or practice they have in place. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in Nebraska is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in Nebraska

Employers must provide all employees with paid time off work for jury duty. 

In Nebraska, employers are not only required to give employees leave for jury duty, but they are also required to pay for the time spent at jury selection or jury duty. This is a rare guarantee, as most states only require that employees be provided with unpaid leave for serving on a jury. 

Employees must provide reasonable notice as evidence of their jury service requirements. 

An employer may not fire, threaten, or otherwise coerce employees because they receive or respond to a summons, serve as jurors, or attend court for prospective juror service. 

Payout 

The court pays:         

Employees who serve as jurors in Nebraska are paid $35.00 a day (though juror pay is only a token amount).     

The employer pays: 

All employers in Nebraska are required to pay employees their normal wages for jury duty. But an employer may reduce an employee’s pay by the amount of compensation paid by the court for jury duty. In addition, an employer may refuse to deduct and pay full wages. 

Military Leave in Nebraska

All employers in the U.S. must comply with USERRA. Additional state family military leave law. 

Federal Regulations 

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that applies to employers of all sizes and types in the U.S. USERRA protects employees called to active duty in the U.S. military, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. USERRA provides reinstatement rights, protection from discrimination, the right to continue group health care benefits for up to 24 months during their leave, and up to 5 years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions to this 5-year limit). 

Nebraska State Law 

Employees who are members of the Nebraska National Guard (or the national guard of any other state) and are called into active state duty have the same leave and reinstatement rights and benefits as those guaranteed by USERRA. 

Nebraska Family Military Leave Act 

Nebraska’s military family leave law is another type of leave that falls under military leave. 

Employers that have 15 or more employees must provide unpaid time off to an employee who is the spouse or parent of a military service member called into active duty. The active-duty period must last at least 179 days. 

Employers with 15 to 50 employees must provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave to an eligible employee. 

Employers with more than 50 employees must provide up to 30 days of unpaid leave to an eligible employee. 

To be eligible for this type of leave, employees must meet the same qualifications as for receiving FMLA (they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months before the leave begins, and they have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months before the leave begins). 

If an employee requests leave for more than five days, an employer may require at least 14 days’ notice and documentation to verify the employee’s leave request. 

Employers must allow employees on leave to continue their benefits at the employee’s expense. Employers must offer employees the same or an equivalent position when they return from active duty. 

Payout 

Military leave is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in Nebraska

2 hours of paid time off. 

All employees registered to vote in Nebraska are entitled to up to two consecutive hours of paid time off to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal primary or general election. An employer is not required to provide voting leave if the employee has at least 2 consecutive hours of non-working time while the polls are open. An employer may define the hours during which an employee may be absent. 

Advance notice is required; an employee must request leave before the day of the election. 

Payout 

The employer must pay regular wages during this absence, if the employee gives notice in advance of the election day. 

Nebraska State Holidays for 2022

Nebraska law doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave.

Private employers in Nebraska don’t have to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays, like almost all states in the U.S.A. Private employers can require all employees to work on holidays. However, the majority of employers in Nebraska do provide at least several paid holidays.   

 

Complete list of official holidays recognized and celebrated by the state of Nebraska in 2022: 

Date Holiday
Saturday, January 1 New Year’s Day (Observed Friday, December 31, 2021.) *
Monday, January 17 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (3rd Monday in January)
Monday, February 21 President’s Day (3rd Monday in January)
Friday, April 29 Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)
Monday, May 30 Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Monday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 5 Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
Monday, October 10 Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October)
Friday, November 11 Veterans’ Day
Thursday, November 24 Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November)
Friday, November 25 Day After Thanksgiving
Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day (Observed Monday, December 26) *

* Holidays that fall on Saturday are observed on Friday; holidays that fall on Sunday are observed on Monday.

Sources

  1. The Nebraska Employment Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/nebraska/
  2. Nebraska Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-nebraska/
  3. Nebraska Labor Laws: Everything You Need to Know, https://www.upcounsel.com/nebraska-labor-laws
  4. Nebraska Labor Laws Guide, https://clockify.me/state-labor-laws/nebraska-labor-law
  5. Helpside – Employee Leave Laws by State, https://www.helpside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Employee-Leave-Laws-by-State-Final.pdf
  6. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

 

Updated: November 23, 2022 

 

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries. 

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.