New Hampshire Leave Laws

May 6th 2024

Taking leave is essential for employee well-being and work productivity, which is why there are numerous types of leave available to workers in New Hampshire. This article explores New Hampshire’s leave laws, detailing the different leave of absence options for employees in the state. 

New Hampshire classifies leave into two categories: mandatory and non-mandatory, each governed by specific rules and conditions. These regulations may vary for employees in the public or private sector.

This Article Covers

New Hampshire Required Leave
New Hampshire Non-Required Leave

New Hampshire Required Leave

Under New Hampshire’s leave laws, employers are obligated to provide their employees with certain types of leave for specific circumstances. These required types of leave include:

1. Family and Medical Leave

  • Eligibility: Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are eligible for family and medical leave if they meet certain criteria, including having worked in a business for at least a year, completing a minimum of 1,250 hours, and working in a company with at least 50 staff within 75 miles.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Employees may access FMLA benefits to care for an ailing family member, take maternity or paternity leave within a year of having a child, deal with health conditions or tend to a spouse or family member on military duty.
  • Pay: Family and medical leave is not paid in New Hampshire.

2. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees in New Hampshire are entitled to jury duty leave. However, an employer may request to see their jury summons, and if the employee’s absence impacts them significantly, the court may excuse their appearance with proper documentation. 
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To attend jury duty or jury selection.

3. Emergency Response Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who serve as volunteer emergency responders, such as medical personnel, technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement officers must be granted leave to respond to emergencies.  
  • Duration: The duration of leave depends on the time required to attend to the emergency.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When an employee, who is a volunteer emergency responder, needs to respond to an emergency situation. This could include fires, medical emergencies, search and rescue operations, or natural disasters where their specialized skills are needed.

4. Crime Victim Employment Leave

  • Eligibility: Under the Crime Victim Employment Leave Act (CVEL), employers in New Hampshire must grant leave to an employee who is a crime victim (or their immediate family member). This leave is also available to legal guardians of crime victims who are minors, deceased, or judged as incompetent or incapacitated under the law. Proper documentation must be filed and provided to the employer.
  • Duration: The duration of crime victim employment leave can vary depending on the needs of the employee to attend court proceedings, receive treatments, or manage other issues directly related to being a victim of the crime. However, if granting leave would cause the employer “undue hardship”, they may limit the duration of the employee’s absence. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To attend court or other legal proceedings directly relevant to the prosecution of the crime.

5. Pregnancy and Pregnancy Disability Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers who are unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth, or caring for a newborn, are entitled to a leave of absence. This leave is also given to employees with medical conditions related to pregnancy.
  • Duration: The employee’s fitness to return to work will be evaluated by a professional and once deemed fit, they will be reinstated to their previous position.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Leave can be taken while the employee is pregnant, caring for a newborn, or unable to work due to a qualifying disability, including those related to pregnancy or childbirth complications.

6. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves are eligible for military leave.
  • Duration: Employees who have not yet been inducted or enlisted may take 15 days leave or an extra 30 days if needed to complete service in the Armed Forces. If the employee is already an active soldier, they are entitled to indefinite leave, lasting until their service is over. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Military leave can be taken for active duty or training.

7. Holiday Leave (Public Employers)

  • Eligibility: Only state employees are eligible for holiday leave. 
  • Duration: The full day of the official public holiday.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: State employees are granted leave on days that are designated as official public holidays.
  • Pay: Public employers are not required to provide their employees with paid holiday leave.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

Learn more about the rights of employees in New Hampshire by reading our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in New Hampshire, Your rights as an hourly employee in New Hampshire, and New Hampshire Labor Laws.

New Hampshire Non-Required Leave

Employers in New Hampshire may provide different types of non-required leave to their employees as they see fit. The non-required types of leave include:

1. Sick Leave

Employers can choose to provide sick days in their leave policies, although it’s not compulsory. If they decide to offer sick leave, they must follow the guidelines set forth in their own policy, subject to review by the commissioner of Labor and Industry. This policy must clearly define the usage and accrual of sick days.

2. Voting Leave

Employers in New Hampshire are not required by law to grant employees voting leave. However, employees who are unable to reach the polls due to work obligations, such as being on a business trip, have the option to register as an ‘absent voter’ and cast their ballot from elsewhere, according to the state’s absentee voting regulations.

3. Bereavement Leave

Employers have the discretion to provide paid or unpaid bereavement leave, and if they choose to offer this benefit, they must clearly outline the policy in writing. This information should be prominently displayed with other employment policies in the workplace for easy access.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.