Iowa Leave Laws – Vacation Tracker


In Iowa, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. Iowa Code 91A.2(7)(b).

The rollover policy

  •     Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

If an employer chooses to provide paid vacation benefits, it must comply with the terms of its policy or employment contract. Paid vacation benefits are considered “wages” (Iowa Code § 91A.2(7)(b)).

  • Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy

The state of Iowa has no statute governing the policy.

  • Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination

An employer must pay a terminating employee for unused vacation only if the employer has a contract, policy, or procedure to pay vacation to departing employees (Iowa Division of Labor: Wage FAQs).



No federal or state law in Iowa requires employers to pay out an employee’s accrued vacation, sick leave or other paid time off (PTO) at the termination of employment.

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA

In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Iowa has the following laws regarding Maternity and Paternity Leave:

the Iowa Civil Rights Act requires employers with at least four employees to provide employees with up to eight weeks of unpaid leave due to temporary disability related to pregnancy and childbirth. The Act provides protection from sex and pregnancy based discrimination. 

Employees are required to provide the same notice as it is required for any other disability leave.

Employees are allowed to use their accrued vacation, sick or PTO days in order to get paid during the leave.

Jury Duty Leave

In addition to jury duty leave, the state of Iowa has a statute governing witness leave (the law applies only to public employees).

Iowa law requires employers to provide employees with unpaid leave to respond to the notice, serve as jurors, or attend court for prospective juror service.

Employers that violate the law may be charged with contempt of court and ordered to reinstate the employee and pay back wages and attorneys’ fees (IA Code Sec. 607A.45).

Bereavement Leave

No federal or state law require an employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral.

Voting Leave

Employers are required to provide employees with a total time of three consecutive hours, in addition to employee’s non-working hours of paid leave. 

An employer may specify the hours in which an employee is allowed to be away from work.

The employer is required to provide written notice in advance.

Military Leave

Iowa employers may not discriminate in employment against individuals because they are members of the National Guard, organized reserves of the armed forces of the United States, or any member of the Civil Air Patrol because of that membership (IA Code Sec. 29A.43).

Employees who are members of the National Guard organized reserves of the armed forces, or Civil Air Patrol are entitled to a leave of absence when ordered to temporary duty for any purpose. The leave may be with or without pay, at the employer’s discretion. An employee returning from duty is entitled to be reinstated to the same position, or a position of like seniority, status and pay, as long as the employee provides evidence to the employer of satisfactory completion of the duty of service, and the employee is still qualified to perform the duties of the position. Temporary employees are not entitled to reinstatement. The period of absence must not affect the employee’s rights to vacation, sick leave, bonus, or other employment benefits. The law covers all public and private employers (IA Code Sec. 29A.43).


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about Iowa Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.