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North Carolina Leave Laws

Paid Time Off

No federal or state law requires employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time for their employees. However, if employers choose to offer a vacation leave, paid or unpaid, to their employees it must comply with applicable state law or employment contract. 

The rollover policy

  • Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

North Carolina employers are not required to provide vacation pay plans for employees (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.12). However, if an employer does adopt a vacation policy, that policy must address:

How vacation is earned.

How much vacation time may be carried forward from one year to another if any.

When vacation time must be taken.

Under what conditions vacation pay will be forfeited upon termination of employment.

(13 N.C. Admin. Code rule 12.0306(a).)

  • Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy

Not prohibited. Employees must be notified in writing of any policy that requires or results in loss or forfeiture of vacation time or pay. Employees who are not notified are not subject to the loss or forfeiture. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.12.)

  • Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination

An employer’s policy determines whether earned, unused vacation is paid on termination.



No federal or state law in North Carolina 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

North Carolina has no additional laws regarding Maternity and Paternity leave. Expecting and new parents are entitled to leave under the federal 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.

Parental Involvement Leave provides parents, a guardian, or standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) up to 4 hours of unpaid leave to attend a child’s activities related to school.

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. No employer may discharge or demote any employee because the employee has been called for jury duty, or is serving as a juror.

Bereavement Leave

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

Voting Leave

North Carolina does not have a law that requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.

Military Leave

North Carolina law provides the following job protections for military members, in addition to Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act:

  • Reemployment rights for members of the North Carolina National Guard (or of another state) who are honorably discharged
  • Discrimination protections for members of the National Guard
  • Leave for members of the U.S. military for emergency military duty

    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.