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Questions about Funeral Leave Law

Taking time off work to attend the funeral of a loved one is important. Yet, company policies on offering employees funeral leave can differ. If you have questions on funeral leave, write in to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer for solutions that are both quick and informative. Listed below are the top questions answered on funeral leave.

Is funeral leave considered mandatory by Federal Law?

Requiring an employee to take bereavement or funeral leave is not mandatory by Federal law. It is entirely up to the organization to decide if they would like to offer bereavement or funeral leave and define the terms and conditions for the same.

If an employee takes funeral leave, am I obliged to pay him for it or can it be cut from his sick/personal/vacation time balance?

Funeral leave is decided by individual company policy and is not mandatory by law. In this case, in the absence of a provision for funeral leave in your company policies, the time off could probably be treated as a personal day off taken by the employee. However, if your company policy provides bereavement or funeral leave, then that benefit may have to be awarded to the employee.

I work in a company that employs less than 50 people. I had to take leave because my father died and my children were ill. In all, I missed 4 full days (8 hours each) and around 10 days (less than 4 hours each). I was fired due to excessive absenteeism. Is this legal?

Certain states don’t allow for discrimination based on leave taken due to the funeral of a relative or on family status. If the days for which you took funeral leave were deducted from the total number of days you were absent, then you probably would have not have exceeded the leave taken by any other employee in your organization who was not terminated. If your State Labor board prohibits behavior like this, you could contact them and file a compliant for discrimination and violation of the law. You could also present your case before a local employment lawyer who consults for free and who takes on contingency fee cases. Finally, you could be eligible to receive unemployment benefits since it looks like your employer fired you without a just cause. If you have more questions and require further legal advice, please ask an Employment Lawyer on JustAnswer.

If your grandmother dies, is your employer obliged to pay you for funeral leave?

Bereavement and funeral leave is not mandatory by law and is decided entirely by your company policy. You can get paid for funeral leave and your employer would be obligated to give you that only if it is specifically stated in the company policy. Therefore, you would need to check with your company policy handbook, offer letter and benefits package if bereavement and funeral leave benefits are clearly spelt out. If you cannot find any information regarding this, you could always check with HR to find out what your rights are.

One of my employees sent me a text to say that his grandmother had died and he would be off for the next three days making arrangements for the funeral. He requested me for paid funeral leave. Since there is no employee handbook that we have created that states that we will pay this, he was upset when he was not paid. Is there a law that states that we are obliged to pay him?

There is no law that states that you are obliged to pay him. Funeral leave benefits differ from company to company and is decided upon by the employer’s corporate policy. Even the Family and Medical Leave Act extends only to care for immediate family members who suffer from serious medical problems.

Losing someone dear to you can be traumatic. On top of that, misunderstanding funeral leave policies can only lead to more unpleasantness in the workplace. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can help by providing you with legal information in the quickest and most affordable manner. So don’t hesitate to contact them now with your questions.
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