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Personal Leave: What you need to know

What is personal leave? "Personal leave" refers to short-term absences for reasons other than illness, such as taking a child to a physician, school appointments, time to run errands, etc. No federal law requires employers to provide paid or unpaid personal days, but many employers do provide this benefit. In several states , so-called "small necessities leave" laws require that leave be given for many of the same reasons employees use personal leave. A personal day policy should be part of an overall leave policy, which may include some of the latest trends, including flexible work time and leave donation programs.
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“Personal leave” or personal days may have different meanings in different organizations. In this section, however, personal leave refers to short-term absences for reasons other than illness, such as taking a child to a physician, school appointments, time to run errands, etc.
Federal law. No federal law requires employers to provide paid or unpaid personal days, but many employers do provide this benefit.
Practice tip: It is best to provide several personal days that employees may use for personal business without offering any further explanation to the employer. This avoids putting employees in a position in which they must call in sick to avoid giving a specific reason for needing time off. Granting no personal days merely discourages employees from giving advance notice when they do need time to conduct personal business. Some employers combine vacation and personal days, with a provision that allows supervisors to approve short-notice vacations.
Time off for exempt employees. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits an employer to deduct for full days ...

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