Twigg Tip Military

Human Resources Tips for Dental Practices: Is employer required to provide paid time off for military family members?

Oct. 3, 2013
There are a lot of issues that employers must keep up with


QUESTION: One of my employees is a military spouse who recently asked for a leave of absence to spend time with her husband while he’s on leave. She said there is a law in place that allows her to do so. Is she correct? Am I required to provide this?

ANSWER: Maybe. There are two different laws that may require this of you. The first is the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If you have 50+ employees, this will be applicable and may result in you needing to provide time off for a person who has a military family member.

The second depends on the state where you live. Many states have enacted legislation requiring employers to provide leave for military family members. These states currently are California, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington. It is likely that more states will follow in their footsteps.

While each law has its unique qualities, each primarily requires employers to provide time off, ranging from a few weeks to one month, of unpaid leave for an employee to be with a family member who is on leave from active duty in the military. These laws often broadly define “family” as spouse/domestic partner, parent, child, grandparent, and/or sibling. This leave is job-protected, which means an employer is prohibited from taking adverse action and/or discriminating against the employee for taking the leave of absence.


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Human Resources Tips for Dental Practices is provided by Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane of Bent Ericksen & Associates. Tim Twigg is president and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit