by Calvin L. Keith
Veterans Day is coming up on November 11, and a new law in Oregon makes the day even more significant for veterans who want the day off.
The 2013 Oregon Legislature passed a bill requiring employers to provide veterans with paid or unpaid time off on Veterans Day. “Veterans” include those who have served in the U.S. armed forces and have been discharged under honorable conditions.
Employees wanting to take advantage of the new law on Monday were required to provide 21 calendar days’ notice and proof of veteran status. An employer may deny a request if it determines that providing the time off would cause severe economic or operational disruptions.
If time off can’t be granted to all employees requesting it, an employer can deny time off to all employees or to the minimum number of employees needed to avoid significant economic or operational disruptions. Veterans who are not allowed to take the day off must be granted a different day off as a replacement within one year of the Veterans Day they worked. Employers must provide 14 days’ notice of whether time-off requests will be granted.
Employers are advised to review their policies in light of the new law and amend their employee handbook if appropriate. Employers also should establish an internal policy for dealing with requests for Veterans Day off. The policy should include a method to receive requests 21 days in advance and respond no later than 14 days before Veterans Day. The policy also should establish a process to ensure that veterans who are denied Veterans Day off are offered and allowed the opportunity to take another day off within a year.
More details on the Veterans Day law are available in the October issue of Oregon Employment Law Letter.