When Do I Have a “Right” to Take Time Off Work?

  1. EEOC-Employment Law
  2. When Do I Have a “Right” to Take Time Off Work?

Many employees know that they have a right to take time off from work, but they don’t understand under what circumstances this right can be used. State and federal laws prohibit an employer from disciplining or terminating an employee for the following:

Jury duty

Under Tennessee law, if an employer has at least five employees, the employee has worked for the employer for at least six months, and is not a temporary employee, the employee is entitled to be paid regular wages while the employee is serving on jury duty. If the employee works the night shift, he/she must be excused from the night shift work while serving on a jury.

Under Missouri law, employers are required to allow employees to take unpaid leave for their jury duty. The employee must not be forced to use personal, vacation, or sick leave while serving their jury duty. An employer cannot implement or threaten adverse action against the employee for their jury duty service.

Military leave

Federal law provides that employees have the legal right to take leave to serve in the military for up to five years, with the right to be reinstated upon their return to work. An employer is also prohibited from discriminating against an employee based upon his/her service in the military. Both Tennessee and Missouri laws prohibit an employer from taking adverse action against an employee based on his/her membership or participation in the state militia or national guard.


Tennessee and Missouri employees must be given reasonable leave to vote, unless the employee has three consecutive hours when he/she is not working while the polls are open.

Family and medical leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects Tennessee and Missouri employees. If an employer has 50 or more employees, FMLA requires eligible employees to receive up to 12 unpaid weeks off from work each year for serious health conditions, to care for family members with serious health conditions, to care for a new child, and certain circumstances related to a family member’s military service. When an employee takes leave under FMLA, the employer must reinstate him/her to the same position when the leave ends.

If you have questions regarding leave time under state or federal law, contact one of our offices today. The Crone Law Firm has a passion for employment law. Our attorneys have decades of education and experience. Having been on both sides of all types of workplace conflicts, we understand your situation whether you are an employer or employee. In our years in practice, we’ve developed specific techniques and philosophies that help us help you. One of our most effective methods is teamwork. Call us at 901-737-7740 to see how we can help.

Previous Post
I Lost My Job During the Pandemic…Was it a Wrongful Termination?
Next Post
How Do I Prove Discrimination in My Workplace?