Veterans in Iowa have a right to request time off from work to mark Veterans Day, November 11, according to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

In 2010, Iowa Code section 91A.5A took effect, requiring employers to provide holiday time off on Veterans Day for employees who are veterans and would normally be required to work that day.

“Each Veterans Day, we honor and share our appreciation for the men and women who have defended our country and our freedoms,” Miller said. “A veteran reached out to our office because he felt employers and veterans were unaware of this law. We want to ensure these brave Iowans have the ability to take time off on the holiday.”  

Veterans who want to use the required holiday must follow the proper procedure to take the day off legally:  

  • provide their employer with at least one month’s prior written notice of their intent to take time off.
  • provide their employer with a federal certificate of release or discharge from active duty or a similar federal document. 

Employers can deny the time off request if the request would affect public health or safety or would cause the employer to experience significant economic or operational disruption. 

Additionally, employers have the discretion to determine if the holiday will be paid or unpaid. Once the request is made, employers must notify the employee of the paid or unpaid holiday determination 10 days before Veterans Day. Iowa is among five states to require private employers to provide time off to veterans on Veterans Day. The other states with similar laws include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee.