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American Samoa

Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in American Samoa

Holiday leave

In American Samoa, the provision of vacation leave, also known as annual leave, is governed by both the American Samoa Code Annotated (ASCA) and certain aspects of U.S. federal labor standards.

Eligibility for Annual Leave

Under ASCA 7.1203(h), employees qualify for annual leave after 90 continuous days of employment without a break in service.

Accrual Rates of Annual Leave

The accrual rate of annual leave is dependent on the length of service:

  • Employees with less than 3 years of service accrue 4 hours of annual leave per bi-weekly pay period, which is approximately 10 days per year.
  • Employees with 3 to 15 years of service accrue 6 hours of annual leave per bi-weekly pay period. However, for the last full pay period of the year, they accrue 10 hours, which is approximately 15 days per year.
  • Employees with 15 or more years of service accrue 8 hours of annual leave per bi-weekly pay period, which is approximately 20 days per year.

Key Points to Remember

There are several key points to remember:

  • Carryover of Unused Leave: According to the ASCA, unused annual leave can be carried over to the following years. However, employers have the right to set maximum accrual limits.
  • Usage of Leave: Employees are generally required to obtain approval from their supervisors before taking annual leave.
  • Payout at Termination: The ASCA mandates that unused annual leave balances must be paid out to an employee upon termination of employment.

Public holidays

American Samoa, a U.S. territory, observes a combination of federal U.S. holidays and its own territory-specific holidays.

Federal Holidays

American Samoa recognizes the following federal holidays:

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
  • Presidents' Day (Third Monday in February)
  • Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  • Juneteenth (June 19)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  • Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
  • Veterans Day (November 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Territory-Specific Holidays

In addition to the federal holidays, American Samoa also celebrates:

  • Flag Day (April 17): This day marks the first time the U.S. flag was raised in American Samoa.
  • Manu'a Islands Cession Day (July 16): This day commemorates the cession of the Manu'a Islands to the United States.


If a public holiday falls on a Saturday, it is typically observed on the preceding Friday. If it falls on a Sunday, it is usually observed on the following Monday. On these public holidays, government offices and some businesses may be closed.

Types of leave

In American Samoa, employees are entitled to various forms of leave, protected by both federal regulations and the American Samoa Code Annotated (ASCA).

Sick Leave

Employees earn 4 hours of sick leave for each bi-weekly pay period (ASCA 4.0506). This leave can be used for an employee's own illness, care of an ill family member, or medical appointments (ASCA 4.0506). Employers may require a medical certificate for absences exceeding 3 consecutive workdays (ASCA 4.0506).

Annual Leave (Vacation Leave)

The accrual rates for annual leave are as follows:

  • Less than 3 years of service: 4 hours per bi-weekly pay period
  • 3 to 15 years of service: 6 hours per bi-weekly pay period (10 hours for the last pay period of the year)
  • 15 or more years of service: 8 hours per bi-weekly pay period (ASCA 7.1203).

This leave can be used for general vacation time as approved by the employer.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Employees who have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in that period are eligible for FMLA. Reasons for leave include birth and care of a newborn child, adoption or foster care placement of a child, serious health condition of the employee, serious health condition of a spouse, child, or parent, and qualifying military-related events. The duration is up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave per year. Job protection is typically provided during the leave period.

Other Potential Leave Types

Some employers may offer bereavement leave following the death of a family member. Employees must be granted time off for jury duty. Protections exist for employees serving in the military.

Important Notes

American Samoa labor laws are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information and specific inquiries, employees should consult the American Samoa Department of Human Resources or an employment law attorney.

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