Personal leave is sometimes used as a catch-all term used to describe any form of employee leave, but it is also commonly used to describe short-term absences that don’t otherwise fall under defined sick, medical, and vacation leave policies.
Sometimes referred to as “small necessities leave,” examples of these types of personal leaves may include anything from school appointments and bereavement leave to time to attend appointments and errands not otherwise covered by sick or family leave laws.
While no federal law requires employers to provide paid or unpaid personal days, some of these categories of leave may be required by various state laws. Additionally, even when not required to do so, many employers provide some form of flexible “personal leave” that can be used for the various purposes described in this topic.
Leave resources. With this in mind, before we discuss personal leave in general, let’s briefly list some of the most common types of leave and provide references to the appropriate topical resources for those categories.
Family and Medical Leave. This includes family, medical, and military caregiver leave as required under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as many comparable companion state laws.
Sick Leave. Whether paid or unpaid, this leave is typically used for shorter periods of illness or preventive care for the employee or covered family members. A growing number of state and local laws are requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for a variety of reasons, some of which may also extend to domestic violence prevention and counseling.
Maternity and Paternity Leave. While “maternity leave” is still often used broadly to discuss leave associated with ...