Do I Have to Allow My Employee to Use Her Paid Time Off Over the Holidays?

Probably not. 

First, there is no legal entitlement to time off over the holidays.  If a company wants to provide time off that’s great, but there’s no MN state or federal law that mandates time off.

Most employers, however, have some sort of paid time off leave which allows employees to take time off work to rest or stay away from work when they’re sick, etc.  If a company has that sort of policy it should include a provision that it maintains the right to approve or deny any request for leave.  Some policies will even require that the employee requests the leave in advance, commonly 14 days in advance, otherwise it’ll be denied.  Reasonable requirements along these lines are generally fine and allow employers sufficient opportunity to plan for employee absences.  Unless the employer, through such policy, grants an employee an unrestricted ability to take paid time off whenever they want, the company should be a position to deny a request for paid time off for personal reasons whether it’s over the holiday or not.  


Thompson Coe’s Tips of the Week are not intended as a solicitation, do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.