New State Law Gives Veterans Day Off for Veterans Day

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Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

On April 4, 2013, Governor Kitzhaber signed into law a new requirement that Oregon employers provide employees who are veterans with time off on Veterans Day.

Under the new law, an eligible employee who is otherwise scheduled to work on Veterans Day is entitled to take the day off upon request. Employees are eligible if they served on active duty in the Armed Forces for at least 6 months and received a discharge under honorable conditions. Military service in a reserve or National Guard unit does not qualify an employee as a veteran, unless the employee was deployed or served on active duty for at least 6 months. The employer may require the employee to provide documents establishing his or her status as an eligible veteran. If questions remain about an employee’s eligibility under the Veterans Day law, contact legal counsel or the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Employers may deny the veteran request only if they can demonstrate that granting the request would cause a significant economic or operational disruption or an undue hardship to the company. In those circumstances, the employer must then allow the employee a single day off before the following Veterans Day to honor the holiday. That day off must be in addition to any other time off to which the employee would otherwise be entitled.

Employees seeking Veterans Day off must make the request with at least 21 days’ advance notice. Employers must respond to the request at least 14 days prior to Veterans Day. The response must inform the employee whether he or she will receive time off on Veterans Day and whether the time off will be paid or unpaid. Whether the time off is paid or unpaid is at the discretion of the employer.

The new law is effective immediately, so start preparing now to be ready to process requests for time off for Veterans Day, which falls on Monday, November 11, 2013.