Defining Legal Time Off Work

Office employee stretching at her desk

Office employee stretching at her deskSome of the cases of wrongful termination involve an employer using an employee’s time off as grounds for terminating him or her. If you find yourself in this situation, it is better to know what the legal definition of ‘time off’. Once you determine this, you can take the steps necessary to get your job back or make, file a case against your employer or make a claim.

Other than a company’s policies on time off, employees have legal rights for certain reasons under Colorado and federal laws which include but not limited to the following:

Family and Medical Leave

The law cites that an eligible employee has the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off annually to care for a family member that is gravely ill, recover from their serious illness, bond with their newborn child or manage practical matters regarding a family member’s military service. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act also requires companies to provide employees with up to 26 weeks time off to take care of a relative suffering or has exacerbated a serious injury or ailment during their military service.

Military Leave

Another federal law is the USERRA or Unformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. This provides eligible employees reinstatement to their jobs after taking five years time off for military service. Colorado law cites that employees who join the Colorado National Guard have unlimited reinstatement and leave. Employees who are part of the Colorado National Guard or U.S. Military also have the benefit of having up to 15 days time off annually to train.

Time Off for Voting

State law cites that an employee has the right to take time off to vote. Employers must provide their employees paid time off for up to two hours.

Jury Duty

Employees have the right to keep their regular wages for up to $50/day for the first three days of their service on a jury. An employer cannot make demands on an employee that would affect their ability to do their duty as a juror effectively.

If ever you are at odds with an employer who imposes penalties or dismisses you for exercising the abovementioned rights for time off, consult with an attorney that specializes in mediation and arbitration services.