June 13, 2022

Veterans Unpaid Holiday – Tennessee House Bill 2733/Senate Bill 2879

While I have seen very little publicity on this particular bill, it appears that it was proposed as an ACT to amend the Tennessee Code Title 15, Chapter 1 which describes Tennessee State Legal Holidays. The proposal was made in early 2022 and was signed into law by the Governor of Tennessee on April 20, 2022.

This ACT first defines the terms employer, employee and veteran.  It then goes on to state that any employer (defined as any business that employs at least one person) shall allow the employer’s veteran employees to have the entirety of November 11, Veteran’s Day, as a non-paid holiday IF:

(1) The veteran employee provides the employer with at least one month’s written notice of the veteran employee’s intent to have the entirety of that day as a non-paid holiday;

(2) The veteran employee provides the employer with proof of veteran status, which may include, but is not limited to, a DD Form 214 or other comparable certificate of discharge from the armed forces; and

(3) The veteran employee’s absence, either alone or in combination with other veteran employee’s absences, on that day will not impact public health or safety, or cause the employer significant economic or operational disruption as determined by the employer in the employer’s sole discretion.

It is important that managers in your organization are aware of this new law in the event that a request is made by a veteran. They should be aware of which department or person to forward these requests, your policy on how to handle the requests and who determines a “significant economic or operational disruption.”

While it is not required to broadcast this to your employees, it is vital that all requests are handled in a consistent manner, so you might consider a formal policy. The requirement to submit the intent to take the day off at least a month prior to the holiday should assist in your ability to determine whether this could become an economic or operational disruption.

Click here to view the bill.

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