This Client Alert provides more detailed information about the new Massachusetts rights of veterans to take leave on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, supplementing our first Client Alert about this new law. The original Client Alert can be found by clicking here.

The Attorney General has offered additional guidance for employers:

  • An employer may require employees to use any accrued paid time off when taking either paid or unpaid leave now available to them under this law. However, employers with more than 50 employees (the threshold requiring Veterans Day leave to be paid) must pay for qualifying leave on Veterans Day even when the employee has no accrued, paid time off.
  • Employers may not uniformly cap the hours of leave allowed, as the law requires “sufficient time to participate” in an event that takes place in their “community of residence.” Employers must assess the length of leave requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • Governor Baker’s office plans soon to issue further guidance on the “Veterans” page on the Commonwealth’s website (and we will alert you when that happens). The Attorney General enforces this statute, but has no plans to issue regulations or additional guidance at this time.

Employers should update Employee Handbooks and leave-related policies to comply with this new law.