Every officer and employee of the state or of any county, city, or other political subdivision thereof who is a member of the Washington National Guard or of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps Reserve of the United States, or of any organized reserve or armed forces of the United States shall be entitled to and shall be granted military leave of absence from such employment for a period not exceeding twenty-one days during each year beginning October 1st and ending the following September 30th. Such leave shall be granted in order that the person may report for active duty, when called, or take part in active training duty in such manner and at such time as he or she may be ordered to active duty or active training duty. Such military leave of absence shall be in addition to any vacation or sick leave to which the officer or employee might otherwise be entitled, and shall not involve any loss of efficiency rating, privileges, or pay. During the period of military leave, the officer or employee shall receive from the state, or the county, city, or other political subdivision, his or her normal pay.
Is Military Leave Paid or Unpaid?
Each calendar year from October 1 through the following September 30, employees are entitled to 21 work days of paid Military Leave when called to active duty, or active duty training in the National Guard; the US Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine or Navy reserves; or uniformed positions in the United States Public Health Service. Any additional time on active duty military leave is unpaid.
If an employee has already used his/her paid military leave entitlement as of September 30th he/she became eligible for another 21 days of paid military leave beginning October 1st.
How Much Military Leave is an Employee Entitled to?
Generally for the duration of active duty, up to 5 years.
Are the Employee’s Benefits Covered During Unpaid Leave?
Military leave of less than 31 days is covered by employer-paid medical and dental benefits to the end of the month in which the leave occurs. Military leave of 31 days or greater is covered by employer paid medical and dental insurance while the employee on leave is in pay status of at least 5%. Under University policy paid leave may be spaced out (interspersed) on a monthly basis to retain employer paid medical and dental insurance benefits while on military leave. However the employee remains responsible for any employee contributions or copays.
The following types of leave or paid time may be interspersed to retain employer paid benefits:
- Paid military leave – All faculty and staff. In other words, the 21 work days of paid military leave that an employee is entitled to, if it has not already been used, could be spaced out over as much as 15 months to retain employer paid insurance benefits during that period.
- Vacation leave – faculty with 12 month appointments and librarians who accrue vacation leave.
Employer-paid medical and dental benefits end at midnight on the last day of the month in which the employee is in pay status a minimum of 5% pay distribution. The employee can then elect to continue insurance coverage by self-payment of premiums as outlined at:
What Return to Work Rights Does an Employee on Military Leave Have?
Generally, the employee returning from active duty has the right to return to the position he/she left. More information about return rights (including seniority, salary etc) is detailed on the USERRA poster.
Next Steps: OPUS Entry
When you are notified that a faculty member or Librarian will need to use Military Leave an OPUS entry will be required. Please determine whether the individual wants to immediately exhaust their Military leave or space it out over fifteen months to retain UW Employer-Paid Benefits.
- To fully exhaust MLP immediately the OPUS entry would be 100%* MLP for twenty-one days. The duration of their absence will be coded as LWO.
- To gradually use MLP and retain UW Employer-Paid Benefits the OPUS entry should consist of 5% MLP with the remainder as LWO.
*If less than 100%, MLP percentage should match appointment FTE percentage.