In addition to any leave your employer provides for vacation time, sick leave, personal days, or personal time off (PTO), you might have a legal right to take time off work for specific reasons under federal and Indiana laws. For example, if you are recovering from a serious health condition or caring for a new child, you may have a right to leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Indiana law provides additional leave rights, including time off to serve in the military service or to serve on a jury.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to bond with a new child, to care for a seriously ill family member (parent, child, or spouse), to recuperate from their own serious health conditions, or to handle certain practical matters arising from a family member’s military service. Under the FMLA, employers must also give employees up to 26 weeks off to care for a family member who suffers or exacerbates a serious illness or injury while serving in the military. (For purposes of this part of the law only, employees may take leave to care for a broader set of family members, including siblings, grandparents, and cousins, if they are next of kin to an injured service member.)
The FMLA applies to employers in all states with 50 or more employees. Only employees who have worked for the employer for 12 months and have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave are eligible to use the FMLA. (Find out more at our Taking Family and Medical Leave page.)
Indiana law also requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide military family leave. Under this state law, employers must give eligible employees up to ten days off per year for military family reasons:
Employees are eligible to take leave if they are the spouse, sibling, parent, or grandparent of a family member who has been ordered to active duty for at least 90 days.
Another federal law, the Unformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) gives eligible employees the right to be reinstated to their jobs after taking up to five years off for service in the U.S. military. These employees may be fired only for good cause for a period of up to one year after they return from service. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their military service. (Find out more about USERRA in Taking Military Leave.)
The laws of many states extend similar rights to employees who serve in the state’s military (such as the militia) or are called to state active duty. In Indiana, employees who are members of the reserves may take up to 15 days off each year for military training. Employees who need leave for training must give their employers at least 90 days' notice, and employers may require employees to provide proof that they completed training when they return to work. Indiana employers that deny employees these rights can face criminal penalties.
Indiana law also gives employees the right to take time off work, without fear of retaliation, for the civic responsibility of serving on a jury. Employers also may not deprive employees of their benefits or threaten to do so in retaliation for reporting to jury duty or serving on a jury.
Jury duty leave is unpaid. However, under federal law, employers typically cannot deduct an exempt, salaried employee’s pay for time spent serving on a jury, unless the employee did no work for the entire week. (For more information, see our article on pay docking.)