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Nebraska PTO Laws: Laws, Regulations, & Rules for Paid Time Off in Nebraska

If your business is based out of Nebraska, it is essential to understand Nebraska PTO payout laws for several reasons. Understanding these laws is necessary to ensure compliance with state regulations and help employers establish a positive work environment for employees. As of 2024, there are several aspects of Nebraska PTO laws that include vacation policies, sick leave, family leave, bereavement leave, jury duty leave, military leave, voting leave, and holiday leave.

We understand it can be overwhelming for any employer, so we created this guide on Nebraska PTO laws. Read on to learn more about these laws and how you can establish fair and consistent policies that benefit both employees and the organization.

Nebraska law does not mandate specific vacation policies for employers, providing flexibility in designing vacation benefits.

Therefore, employers have full discretion in creating vacation policies tailored to their business needs depending on their industry and workforce. However, a business’s vacation policies, including accrual rates, carryover limits, and usage guidelines, must be clearly communicated to employees through employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

Furthermore, employers must adhere to the agreed-upon vacation policies. Additionally, employers should review and update their vacation policies to align with current regulations and industry standards.

Use-It-or-Lose-It Policies: Are They Allowed in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ vacation policies are legally prohibited. The ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ policy stipulates that employees must use their accrued vacation time within a certain period, usually by year-end, or forfeit. Employers use such policies to encourage employees to take time off for rest and rejuvenation, aligning with the employer’s workforce management strategies.

Nevada is one of the four states, including California, Nebraska, and Montana, that prohibit the use of use-it-or-lose-it policies. However, employers can cap the vacation time earned to a certain number of hours depending on their business requirements.

Employers should ensure that their policies are well-documented and understood by all employees to avoid confusion and potential disputes.

Is vacation time treated as wages in Nebraska?

Paid vacation time is a fringe benefit legally classified as earned wages. Therefore, once vacation time is earned, it cannot be forfeited. Any accrued vacation time earned is considered wage, and employers must honor it per their established policy.

Additionally, if employers offer any PTO, they must be clear about how vacation time is accrued and treated upon an employee’s separation from the company. If the employer’s policy or employee contract states that accrued vacation is paid out upon termination, the employer must comply with this policy.

Sick Leave in Nebraska: What Employers Need to Know

Nebraska does not have any state law governing sick leave. The state follows the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines. Employers should be familiar with the FMLA regulations to create policies based on the terms and conditions for accruing, requesting, and using sick leave, including eligibility criteria, and accrual rates.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • The federal law provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. All employers with 50 or more employees should offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave.
  • To be eligible for sick leave under FMLA, employees must meet the following criteria:
  • Employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours the previous year.
  • Employees should be working at a location that employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius.
  • While FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave, in certain circumstances, such as military caregiver leave, employees may be entitled to up to 26 weeks of time off.
  • An employee can use sick leave time under FMLA for one of the following reasons:
  • Employees may take FMLA leave for their own serious health conditions.
  • Birth or adoption of a child and bonding with the newborn or newly adopted child within one year of the birth or placement.
  • Employees can also use the sick leave time to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness in the line of duty.

Family Leave in Nebraska: Maternity, Paternity, and More

Nebraska PTO payout laws do not include family leave policies such as maternity or paternity at the state level but follow federal FMLA guidelines. Employees in the state can apply for maternity or paternity leave during significant life events such as the birth or adoption of a child.

The FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for adopting a child or pregnancy. As mentioned above, the same eligibility criteria apply for family leave under FMLA.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is another federal law that employers in the state must abide by. It prohibits discrimination against pregnant employees regarding hiring, firing, promotion, or any other workplace-related event.

Nebraska Adoption Leave

Another law applicable for family leave is the Nebraska Adoption Leave, which allows employees to take time off for adoption. Under this act, an employee can avail the same leave as under maternity or paternity policies for adopting a child under the age of 9 or adopting a child under the age of 19 with special needs requirements.

Under all conditions, maternity or paternity leave is unpaid.

Bereavement Leave: Is It Required in Nebraska?

There is no statutory requirement in Nebraska for employers to provide bereavement leave. Therefore, it is at the discretion of employers to provide this type of leave, its duration, and whether it is paid or unpaid. Typically, most employers in the state offer bereavement leave of up to 2 days to support employees during difficult times.

Jury Duty Leave in Nebraska: What's the Employer's Role?

  • Jury duty is a civic responsibility that requires individuals to serve on a jury and participate in the judicial process. Nebraska mandates that all employers provide employees time off to fulfill their jury duty obligations.
  • Nebraska not only requires employers to provide employees with time off from work to serve on a jury but also to pay them for time spent on jury selection or jury duty. During jury duty leave, employers cannot terminate, demote, or otherwise penalize employees for fulfilling their civic duty as jurors.
  • While employers are required to pay normal wages to employees for the time on jury duty, they can reduce their wages by $35 a day (the amount paid to jurors by the court). Additionally, Nebraska law prohibits employers from requiring employees to use accrued vacation or sick leave for jury duty absences.

Military Leave: What Protections Exist in Nebraska?

  • Military leave provisions in the Nebraska state support employees who serve in the armed forces, including National Guard and reserves members.
  • All employers must follow the guidelines of the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to uphold their legal obligations and demonstrate support for military service members. As per USERRA, members of the National Guard, reserves, or other branches of the armed forces must be provided up to 5 years of unpaid leave for active duty. Also, eligible employees should be provided group healthcare benefits for up to 24 months. Military leave can be used for active duty or military training and drills.
  • Nebraska State Law provides the same level of job protection and benefits as provided under USERRA to the members of the Nebraska National Guard and called for active duty.

The Nebraska Family Military Leave Act (NFMLA)

  • The Nebraska Family Military Leave Act is a state-specific law providing additional protections and benefits to employees who are parents or spouses of armed forces or National Guard members.
  • Employers with 15 to 50 employees must provide eligible employees with up to 15 days of unpaid leave for duty requirements.
  • Employers with 50 or more employees must provide eligible employees with up to 30 days of unpaid leave.
  • To be eligible for military leave under NFMLA, employees must fulfill the FMLA criteria, i.e., employed with the current employer for at least 12 months or worked at least 1,250 hours the previous year.

Voting Leave: What's Allowed in Nebraska?

Nebraska PTO laws mandate that employers provide employees up to 2 hours of paid time off to exercise their right to vote. All eligible employees can take time off work to vote in local, state, and federal elections. However, if the time exceeds 2 hours, employers are not required to pay for time off.

Voting leave allows employees who do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote. Employers must allow employees to take this leave without penalty or retaliation and cannot require employees to use accrued vacation or sick leave for voting purposes.

Holiday Leave in Nebraska: What Employers Can Decide

Nebraska observes 12 state holidays, but private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid holidays to employees. If employers choose to offer holiday leave, they should consider the holidays in the state.

Here is a complete list of holidays in Nebraska in 2024:

Holiday Observed in 2024 General Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1 January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15 3rd Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 19 3rd Monday in February
Arbor Day Friday, April 26 Last Friday in April
Memorial Day Monday, May 27 Last Monday in May
Independence Day Thursday, July 4 July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2 1st Monday in September
Columbus Day Monday, October 14 2nd Monday in October
Veterans Day Monday, November 11 November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28 4th Thursday of November
Day after Thanksgiving Friday, November 29 Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25 December 25

How can Truein help with Paid time off management?

Truein is a cloud-based time and attendance management solution that provides employers with robust features and comprehensive solutions for paid time off (PTO) management. Its centralized platform architecture offers tracking of employees’ PTO balances, requests, approvals, and usage history for both employees and managers. Employers can easily monitor and manage PTO accruals, ensuring accuracy and compliance with company policies and legal requirements.

Using Truein’s mobile app, employees can submit PTO requests directly, eliminating the need for manual paperwork or email exchanges. With self-service functionality, employees can easily view their available PTO balances, select desired dates for leave, and submit requests. It also streamlines the PTO approval process with automated workflows. Managers receive notifications of pending PTO requests, review requests within the platform, and approve or deny them with a few clicks. Automated approval workflows reduce administrative overhead and ensure timely responses to employee requests.

Truein also has robust policy compliance features that allow employers to create customized policies that meet their needs. Using its 70+ customizable policy templates, employers can stay compliant with PTO laws and regulation. Its robust reporting and analytics features provide insights into PTO trends, usage patterns, and employee attendance metrics.

One of the best features of Truein is its seamless integration with most existing HR and payroll software for data exchange and synchronization. This ensures data accuracy, reduces manual data entry, and enhances overall efficiency in PTO management processes.

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With knowledge and proper planning, Nebraska PTO payout laws can be easily integrated into existing company policies. For employers, staying informed about state and federal regulations governing vacation policies and different types of leaves is mandatory. By understanding and adhering to PTO laws, employers can create a supportive work environment, enhance employee morale and retention, and mitigate legal risks associated with non-compliance.

Truein is a potentially robust PTO management solution offering advanced solutions to optimize the administration of leaves and ensure compliance, transparency, and employee well-being.


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