In response to Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in Texas and Louisiana, employees may wish to take time off from work to participate in the cleanup efforts. Employers may wonder what their obligations are when faced with requests for leave.
State employees who are certified disaster service volunteers with the American Red Cross may, with approval of the employee’s supervisor, serve for up to 15 days per year without loss of pay or paid time off. Municipal employees have a similar opportunity for leave, with an allowance for 14 days per year with approval of the legislative body of the municipality. Notably, the statutes authorizing this service limit it to the American Red Cross upon the agency’s request, and this leave is available only to certified disaster service volunteers.