Family and Medical Leave in Nebraska

Nebraska employees can receive time off for family and medical leave, adoption leave, and military family leave.

Like employers in every state, Nebraska employers must follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave for certain reasons. Once an employee’s FMLA leave is over, the employee has the right to be reinstated to his or her position.

Nebraska law also gives employees the right to take time off for military family leave and adoption leave. Employees are entitled to the protections of all applicable laws; if more than one law applies, the employee may use the most beneficial provisions.

Federal FMLA Rights

Unlike some other states, Nebraska does not have its own family and medical leave law. However, Nebraska employees are entitled to the protection of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the employee’s serious health condition, to bond with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to prepare for a family member's military service (called “qualifying exigency leave”). Up to 26 weeks are available for employees who need to care for a military family member with a serious injury or illness sustained on active duty. (You can find more information on these last two types of leave in our article on military family leave for employees.)

Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they:

  • have worked for the employer for at least a year
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to taking leave, and
  • work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

Employees are entitled to continued health insurance coverage while on leave, at the same cost as if they were working. Employees are typically entitled to reinstatement after their FMLA leave to the same or an equivalent position.

For a more detailed overview of the FMLA, see our article on taking family and medical leave.

Nebraska Military Family Leave

Nebraska employers with at least 15 employees must give unpaid time off to an employee who is the spouse or parent of someone called to military service of at least 179 days, for the state or the United States, on orders of the governor or the president. Employees are eligible if they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the start of the leave.

The amount of leave available depends on the size of the employer:

  • Employers with 15 to 49 employees must provide up to 15 days of leave.
  • Employers with at least 50 employees must provide up to 30 days of leave.

Employees are entitled to leave while state or federal deployment orders for the family member is in effect.

Nebraska Adoption Leave

All employers that provide parental leave following the birth of a child must make the same leave available to parents who adopt a child under the age of nine (or under the age of 19, if the child has special needs). This provision does not extend to stepparent or foster parent adoptions, however.

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