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Veterans Day Time Off in the U.S. -Who Gets It?

An American Flag in the middle of a field.

Currently, the FLSA (Federal Labor Standards Act) does not require employers to give employees time off for any holiday. In fact, the federal government does not require employers to pay for any time that an employee doesn’t work (such as vacation time). Although this is true, some states have their own holiday policies that business owners must follow.

Who Gets Veterans Day off?

Although not required by law, there are some private sector companies who decide to give their employees time off on Veterans Day. Sometimes, if employees don’t get the day off, they’ll receive special holiday pay through their employer. Currently, there are only 4 states in the U.S. that require employers to give their workers time off on Veterans Day (November 11th). Those states include:

  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon

Those who take time off must be veterans and must meet each state’s eligibility requirements. Additionally, the federal government lets the employer decide whether or not that time off is paid or unpaid.

Government Employees

Most federal and state government employees are not required to work on federal holidays, and Veterans Day is no exception. Federal and state employees, in most cases, don’t have to work on Veteran’s Day regardless of veteran status. 

All non-essential federal government offices are closed on Veteran’s Day, giving those employees the day off with pay.

Iowa Veterans Day

Those who work in Iowa may receive veterans day off if they’re a veteran. They define a true veteran in section 35.1.

Employers can choose to give their qualifying veteran employees paid time off or unpaid time off. Time off is up to the discretion of the employer unless providing time off would impact public health or safety. In addition to that, the employer may also choose to refrain from giving the employee time off if it will cause economic or operational disruption.

Time Off Notice

The employee must provide his/her employer with at least one month’s prior written notice. Additionally, the employee must provide the employer with a federal certificate of release or discharge from active duty or, a similar federal document.

Approvals

The employer must let the employee(s) know at least 10 days prior to Veterans Day if they’ll receive unpaid or paid time off.

Massachusetts Veterans Day

As of November 7, 2018, all private employers must grant veteran employees time off on Veterans Day. A veteran is someone who meets these specific requirements. An employer can choose whether or not this leave is paid or unpaid. Also, they may deny a veteran’s request if the employee’s services are ” essential and critical to the public health or safety and determined to be essential to the safety and security of such an employee’s employer or the property of the employer.”

Time Off Notice

There are no current notice requirements in Massachusetts law.

Approvals

There is currently no approval requirement.

New Hampshire Veterans Day

Any veteran who received an honorable discharge from the United States armed forces shall receive Veterans Day off. Employers may choose to pay for their wages if they please, however, it’s not required.

Along with that, any emergency responder (police officer, firefighter, EMT, 911 operator, and medical personnel) who is a veteran and has received an honorable discharge may receive time off. However, they may only receive time off if there is another qualified emergency responder available.

Time Off Notice

The employee must give advanced notice to his/her employer, and this notice must comply with the company’s policies and procedures.

Approvals

There is currently no time off approval regulation.

Oregon Veterans Day

Employers must give any veteran employee (as defined in ORS 408.225) time off on Veterans Day. The employer may choose whether this time off is paid or unpaid. Similar to Iowa, an employer may deny the employee’s request if their absence will result in economic or operational hardship.

Time Off Notice

The veteran employee must give his/her employer at least 21 days notice. Along with that, they must also show proper documentation showing that he/she was a veteran as defined in ORS 408.225.

Approvals

The employer must notify the employee at least 14 days before Veterans Day regarding whether or not their time off has been approved. They also must let the employee know if that time off is paid or unpaid.


If you have veteran employees who qualify for time off on Veterans Day, you’ll want to track their time the right way. Timesheets.com allows employees to enter unpaid and paid time off, that way you’ll have accurate payroll. Ready to start tracking your time? Try it free!

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