As we prepare to recognize the men and women who have served our country this Veterans Day, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller reminds veterans of their right to request time off for the November 11 holiday.
In 2010, Iowa Code section 91A.5A went into effect requiring employers to provide holiday time off on Veterans Day for employees who are veterans and would normally be required to work that day.
“Each Veterans Day, we honor and share our appreciation for the men and women who have defended our country and our freedoms,” Miller said. “A veteran reached out to our office because he felt employers and veterans were unaware of this law. We want to ensure these brave Iowans have the ability to take time off on the holiday.”
Veterans who wish to use the required holiday must take the following steps:
- provide their employer with at least one month’s prior written notice of their intent to take time off.
- provide their employer with a federal certificate of release or discharge from active duty, or similar federal document.
Employers can deny the time off request if the time off would affect public health or safety or would cause the employer to experience significant economic or operational disruption.
Additionally, employers have the discretion to determine if the holiday will be paid or unpaid. Once the request if made, employers must notify the employee of the paid or unpaid holiday determination 10 days in advance of the November 11 holiday.
Iowa is among five states to require private employers to provide time off to veterans on Veterans Day. Other states with similar laws include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Tennessee.