17. Military Leave. Military leave policy follows federal regulations in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which defines benefits and rights of employees when they serve or have served in the Uniformed Services.
17.1 Eligibility. Faculty or staff members serving in the Uniformed Services, including reserve military service, Federal National Guard service, and certain types of service by members of the National Disaster Medical System, are eligible for military leave.
17.1.1 Not covered by USERRA are those:
- who exceed the five-year, cumulative active service limitation, or exceed the two-year recuperation period following active service
- who are separated from Uniformed services under less than honorable conditions
- who were hired for a brief, nonrecurring period with no reasonable expectation of continuation for a significant period
17.2 Extended Active Service. A faculty or staff member will be granted a military leave of absence without pay by the campus Human Resources Office upon a voluntary or involuntary active duty assignment in the Uniformed Services which extends beyond 30 days. The faculty/staff member must provide written or verbal notice of active duty as far in advance as possible, unless it is impossible or unreasonable to give such notice. Military leave continues throughout the period of active duty, up to a cumulative maximum of five years of active service, except in those instances of recuperation following a period of active duty which may extend the leave for a maximum of two years.
17.2.1 Benefit Continuation. If eligible for benefits, a faculty/staff member may elect to continue medical and dental plan coverage for her/himself and dependents under COBRA (see USY V.A.8) for the period of military leave, or for 24 months from the beginning of the leave, whichever is less. The faculty/staff member may make contributions to her/his retirement plans while on active duty, but will have no USNH contributions until reemployed. The tuition benefit plan for spouse and/or eligible dependents continues for the period of active duty.
220.127.116.11 Earned Time and Vacation leave. Faculty/staff may use accrued Earned Time or vacation for military leave, but are not required to do so. Unused earned time and Sick Pool or vacation days (up to 35) and sick leave will be carried forward through the period of leave of absence. If the faculty/staff member does not return to work following military leave, any unused vacation leave (up to 30 days) or earned time will be paid to the faculty/staff member.
17.2.2 Reinstatement. Upon returning from active duty, a faculty or staff member on active duty will be reinstated within two weeks to the position s/he vacated or to another position of like status when: (1) s/he contacts the Human Resources Office and submits a written or verbal application for reemployment; (2) provides Human Resources with documents of honorable service, such as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Form #DD214) or a copy of duty orders indicating completion of service; and (3) is qualified physically and mentally to return to work. If hospitalization is required during the military leave and continues after discharge for a period of not more than two years, the individual may be restored to his or her position following release from hospitalization.
18.104.22.168 Conditions. If the active service period is more than 30 days, but less than 181 days, the application must be made within 14 days after completing service. With service greater than 180 days, the application is required no later than 90 days after completing service. In each case, notice is required unless it is impossible or unreasonable to do so.
22.214.171.124 Rate of Pay. The pay rate for the reinstated faculty/staff member is based on her/his pay at the time of departure, plus any pay increases, including merit increases, that the faculty/staff member would have received if s/he had been continuously employed during the period of military service.
126.96.36.199 Benefits. Terminated medical plan coverage will be reinstated upon reemployment with no waiting period, except for exclusion of illnesses or injuries resulting from active duty. Upon reinstatement, the faculty/staff member may make up any or all retirement plan contributions missed during the period of active service, and USNH will provide its contributions to those the faculty/staff member makes. These contributions must be made within a time period starting from reinstatement and extending to three times the immediate past military service period, with no repayment period exceeding five years. The time spent in uniformed service is not considered a break in employment for purposes of benefits based on seniority, such as Earned Time accrual, longevity, retirement plan contributions, and FMLA eligibility.
188.8.131.52 Disability. If, as a result of active service in the armed forces, a faculty or staff member is not physically or mentally qualified to perform his/her former duties, he/she may request and will be offered employment in a position for which he or she is qualified and which will provide the seniority, status, and salary consistent with the federal statute.
184.108.40.206 The re-employment rights described in this section shall apply unless the circumstances of the campus or of the University System have changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to provide those rights.
17.3 Temporary Active Duty. A temporary leave of absence of thirty days or less will be granted to a faculty or staff member by the Human Resources Office for the purpose of reserve training or other active duty required by the individual's Uniformed Services Employment.
17.3.1 Compensation. Faculty and exempt staff members on temporary military active duty leave will be paid the difference between their regular salary and military pay if the latter is less than regular pay. Regular military pay does not include any allowances for dependents or reimbursement for expenses. In cases whereby temporary military pay is more than the individual's regular budgeted salary for the same period of time, the faculty/staff member will not receive any USNH salary. Military leave will not count against vacation time. Sick and vacation leave will continue to accumulate during temporary military leave.
220.127.116.11 Exception. Staff members in the Earned Time Program are not eligible for a pay differential and must account for the temporary military active duty time as leave without pay or use accrued Earned Time. (See USY V.A.11.1)
17.4 Retaliation or discrimination of any faculty/staff member on the basis of her/his military service is prohibited.