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Board Policies –  Section G – Personnel

GARID – Military Leave

Employees are entitled to military leave under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994.  The Act applies to military service that began on or after December 12, 1994 or military service that began before December 12, 1994 if the employee was a reservist or National Guard member who provided notice to the employer before leaving work.

Reemployment rights extend to persons who have been absent from work because of “service in the uniformed services.”  The uniformed services consist of the following military branches:

Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard.

Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force

Reserve or Coast Guard Reserve.

Army National Guard or Air National Guard.

Commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.

Any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency.

“Service” in the uniformed services means duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service, including:

Active duty.

Active duty for training.

Initial active duty for training.

Inactive duty training.

Full-time National Guard duty.

Absence from work for an examination to determine a person’s fitness for any of the above types of duty.

The employee may be absent for up to five (5) years for military duty and retain reemployment rights.  There are, however, exceptions which can exceed the five (5) year limit.  Reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration or nature of an individual’s service.  The law enhances protections for disabled veterans including a requirement to provide reasonable accommodations and up to two (2) years to return to work if convalescing from injuries received during service or training.

The returning employee is entitled to be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by LAW.  If necessary, the employer must provide training or retraining that enables the employee to refresh or upgrade their skills so they can qualify for reemployment.  While the individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.  Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 18 months at a cost of up to 102 percent of the full premium.  For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the individual had never left.  All pensions which are a reward for length of service are protected.

Individuals must provide advance written or verbal notice to their employers for all military duty.  Notice may be provided by the employee or by the branch of the military in which the individual will be serving.

Notice is not required if military necessity prevents the giving of notice; or, if the giving of notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable.

Accrued vacation or annual leave may be used (but is not required) while performing military duty.  The individual’s timeframe for returning to work is based upon the time spent on military duty.

TIME SPENT ON MILITARY DUTY RETURN TO WORK OR APPLICATION FOR REEMPLOYMENT
Less than 31 days: Must return at the beginning of the next regularly scheduled work period on the first full day after release from service, taking into account safe travel home plus an eight (8) hour rest period.
More than 30 but less than 181 days: Must submit an application for reemployment within 14 days of release from service.
More than 180 days: Must submit an application for reemployment within 90 days of release from service.

The individual’s separation from service must be under honorable conditions in order for the person to be entitled to reemployment rights.  Documentation showing eligibility for reemployment can be required.  The employer has the right to request that an individual who is absent for a period of service of 31 days or more provide documentation showing:

the application for reemployment is timely;

the five-year service limitation has not been exceeded; and

separation from service was under honorable conditions.

If documentation is not readily available or does not exist, the individual must be reemployed. However, if after reemploying the individual, documentation becomes available that shows one or more reemployment requirements were not met, the employer may terminate the individual, effective immediately.  The termination does not operate retroactively.

Questions should be directed to Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor.

Kansas law also requires reemployment if an individual is called to active duty by the state.

Approved:  February 12, 2014

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