This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Nebraska.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Nebraska.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws require employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time in Nebraska.
Use It or Lose It policies are not specifically addressed by law in Nebraska, and thus appear to be legal to enforce.
To be safe, employers should make it clear via written policy/employment contracts if such a policy applies in their business.
Nebraska considers earned fringe benefits such as vacation time to be a type of wage, and thus any unused PTO must be paid out upon separation (when an employee leaves their job, for whatever reason).
This does not apply for sick leave, however.
Sick leave is not required by law in Nebraska.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Nebraska must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
Nebraska has the following state holidays:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr Day|
|3rd Monday in February||President’s Day|
|Last Friday in April||Arbor Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||Friday after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday)|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Maternity leave is not required by law in Nebraska.
The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is not covered by law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
While maternity leave is not legally required, Nebraska law states that any employers who provide parental leave must offer the same benefits to parents who adopt a child under the age of nine, or under the age of 19 for children with special needs.
Employers do not have to provide bereavement leave in Nebraska, paid or unpaid.
Employees in Nebraska are entitled to paid leave for the entire time spent on jury duty. The court covers $35 per day, and employers must pay the rest to make up the employee’s regular wage.
Employees who do not have two consecutive hours outside of working hours with which to vote can take up to two hours of paid leave to allow them to vote.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Nebraska, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
The Nebraska Family Military Leave Act states that spouses or parents of a military service member (who is called up to active duty for at least 179 days) are entitled to unpaid leave.
Employees working in companies with 15-50 employees are entitled to 15 days of unpaid leave, while employees in companies with over 50 employees are entitled to 30 days of unpaid leave.
Anything not covered in Nebraska state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.