Military Leave

Employees who enlist in or are called to active duty in any of the uniformed armed service branches and their reserves, the US Coast Guard, the National Guard and the uniformed branches of the US Public Health Service have rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Washington state law. These rights include:

  • 21 work days of paid military leave annually, from October 1 through September 30.
  • Up to five (5) years of unpaid military leave with specified return to work rights when called to active duty.

Administrative Process

  1. The employee completes and submits the Military Leave of Absence Request form, along with a copy of the military orders, to the unit.
  2. The dean/chancellor reviews the request and signs the request form.
  3. The dean/chancellor forwards the completed and signed form to Academic Human Resources (AHR).
  4. The unit enters the appropriate leave information into payroll (MLP for up to 21 days, after 21 days record as LWO).
  5. AHR notifies the employee that the leave has been recorded.


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. Academic personnel remain responsible for any individual employee contributions or copays. Contact the Benefits Office to discuss benefits continuation if a prospective military leave is longer than 31 days.

Under University policy, employees may intersperse monthly use of available paid leave time over a period up to 15 months to retain employer-paid medical and dental insurance benefits for as long as possible while on military leave.

 Additional Resources