Military leave

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to set forth University policy and guidelines relating to compensation/benefits/leave and reinstatement of employment for employees who require time off work due to military service.

Policy

Lynn University, in compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA), and other applicable state and local laws, encourages individuals to fulfill military obligations by providing equitable treatment to employees who have military obligations.

An employee who is a member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Florida National Guard or Public Health Service will be granted an unpaid leave of absence for military service, training or related obligations in accordance with applicable law. Employees on military leave may substitute their accrued vacation, personal or birthday leave time for unpaid leave. At the conclusion of the leave, upon the satisfaction of certain conditions, an employee generally has a right to return to the same position he or she held prior to the leave or to a position with like seniority, status, and pay that the employee is qualified to perform.

Definitions

Military Service- service in the uniformed services covers all categories of military training and service, including duty performed on a voluntary or involuntary basis, in time of peace or war. It includes, but is not limited to: Active Duty, Active Duty for Training, Initial Act of Duty for Training, Inactive Duty Training, full time National Guard duty, and absence from work to determine fitness for any of the above types of duty.

Uniformed Services- means the Armed Forces; the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty; the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service; and any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or national emergency. For purposes of USERRA coverage only, service as an intermittent disaster response appointee of the NDMS (National Disaster Medical System) when federally activated or attending authorized training in support of their Federal mission is deemed “service in the uniformed services,”' although such appointee is not a member of the “uniformed services” as defined by USERRA.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. Continuation of Health Insurance and Benefits

During a military leave of less than 30 days, an employee is entitled to continued group health plan coverage under the same conditions as if the employee had continued to work. For military leaves of more than 30 days, an employee may elect to continue health coverage for up to twenty months of uniformed service, but may be required to pay all or part of the premium for the continuation coverage.

[Note: Employees and/or dependents who elect to continue their coverage may not be required to pay more than 102% of the full premium for the coverage elected. The premium is to be calculated in the same manner as that required by COBRA.]

If the employee cancels health coverage while on leave, upon reemployment, the employee must notify Employee Services within 31 days of returning to work of the employee’s intent to re-enroll.

The University will continue to provide Life Insurance coverage during the military leave until such time as any legal obligation to restore the employee to employment expires. The employee and dependents may continue enrollment in the University’s other insurance programs by paying the monthly premium(s).

Eligibility for participation in Long-Term Disability coverage terminates at the beginning of the unpaid leave.

An employee’s service in the military must be counted in determining vested interest and accrued benefits in the University’s Retirement Plan only to the extent required to do so under the law. (USERRA Regulations, 20 CFR & 1002.259, 260, 261, 262)

II. Requests for Leave

Leave for Active or Reserve Duty: Upon receipt of orders for active or reserve duty, an employee should notify their supervisor, as soon as possible (unless s/he is unable to do so because of military necessity or it is otherwise impossible or unreasonable).

Leave for Training and Other Related Obligations: Employees will also be granted time off for military training (normally fourteen (14) days plus travel time) and other related obligations, such as an examination to determine fitness to perform service. Employees should advise their supervisor and/or department head of their training schedule and/or other related obligations as far in advance as possible.

III. Return from Military Leave

Notice Required: An employee who served for less than thirty-one (31) days or who reported for a fitness to serve examination, must provide notice of intent to return to work at the beginning of the first full regular scheduled work period that starts at least eight hours after the employee has returned from the location of service. An employee who served for more than thirty (30) days, but less than 181 days, must submit an application for reemployment no later than fourteen (14) days after completing their period of service, or, if this deadline is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, then on the next calendar day when submission becomes possible. An employee who served for more than one-hundred eighty (180) days must submit an application for reemployment no later than ninety (90) days after the completion of the uniformed service. An employee who has been hospitalized or is recovering from an injury or illness incurred or aggravated while serving must report to Employee Services (if the service was less than thirty-one (31) days or if employee reported for a fitness to serve examination), or submit an application for reemployment (if the service was greater than thirty (30) days), at the end of the necessary recovery period (but which may not exceed two (2) years, unless for a fitness to serve examination).

Required Documentation: An employee whose military service was for more than thirty (30) days must provide documentation upon return (upon the request of the employer) (unless such documentation does not yet exist or is not readily available) showing the following:

1. The application for re-employment is timely (i.e. submitted within the required time period);

2. The period of service has not exceeded five (5) years; and

3. The employee received an honorable or general discharge.

IV. Position Upon Reemployment

An employee whose period of Uniformed Service was less than 91 days must be reemployed, promptly, in a position that the employee would have attained with reasonable certainty if continuously employed (the “escalator position”). If not qualified for that position (after reasonable attempts to qualify the employee) the employee must be reemployed in the position the employee left, and if the employee is not qualified for the pre-service position (after reasonable attempts to qualify the employee), the employee will be reemployed in any other position that is the nearest approximation first to the escalator position and then to the pre-service position, provided the employee qualified for the position.

For an employee whose period of Uniformed Service was 91 days or more, the requirement is the same, however, a position of like seniority, status and pay may be offered in lieu of the escalator position or the pre-service position.

V. Disabled Veteran

An employee who has a disability incurred in, or aggravated during military service, and who (after reasonable efforts by the department to accommodate the disability) is not qualified due to the disability to be employed in the escalator position the employee would have attained but for the Uniformed Service must promptly be reemployed in any other position that is equivalent in seniority, status and pay to the escalator position. If the employee is not qualified for an equivalent position due to the disability, the employee will promptly be reemployed in the nearest approximation to such a position in terms of seniority, status and pay, consistent with the circumstances of the person’s case.

VI. Dismissal

Employees returning from military leave will not be dismissed, except for cause, within these time limits:

• Within the first year of reemployment, if the period of service was more than 180 days, or
• Within the first 6 months of reemployment, if the period of service was between 30 and 180 days.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Employee Services

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018