Military active duty leave is an FMLA job protected absence for active military service for employees who enlist or are inducted in to the armed forces of the United States.
Military leave and its components are provided for by these Acts:
An Active Duty Leave, under FMLA, is granted by the University when service members of the Armed Forces' Reserve components, National Guard, retired service members, or Reservists are on active duty or called to active duty in support of a contingency operation.
Similarly, the National Defense Authorization Act provides up to 12 weeks of leave for a qualifying obligation when service members of the regular Armed Forces are deployed to a foreign country under a certain call or order to active duty. Staff members who continue on active military duty beyond a one-month period are placed on a Military Leave.
The University provides broad re-employment protetions for members of uniformed services following periods of military service in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and REmployment Rights Act (USERRA).
A staff member or instructional faculty member must provide advance notice of the need for Military Leave by contacting The Hartford unless circumstances make such notice unreasonable or the staff member or instructional faculty member is prevented from doing this by military necessity.
Since Military Leave is unpaid, a staff member or instructional faculty member may choose to use vacation and personal floating holiday time during the absence or receive the value of accrued but unused vacation and personal floating holiday time in a lump sum payment subject to the maximum vacation payout. The value of accrued but unused Incidental Sick Time may not be paid out in a lump sum payment, but will be available when the staff member returns to employment with the University. Commuter benefits cannot be accessed or changed when on an unpaid leave of absence. The deadline to make changes to commuter benefits is the 5th of the month prior. Please make any necessary changes prior to that deadline. For additional question on the commuter benefits, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/payroll/payment/pretax-transit/.
Staff members and instructional faculty members of a military reserve or National Guard unit can receive up to two weeks of regular University wages for training periods. A military voucher is needed by the Payroll Division of the Office of Human Resources to reimburse the difference in their gross pay and the amount received from federal or state authorities.
To be eligible for reinstatement with the University after Military Leave, a staff member or instructional faculty member must:
Staff members or instructional faculty members who take Military Leave and who remain qualified for their position, will be reinstated to employment with the University according to the following military service time frames:
|Active Military Service Period||Reinstatment*|
|Less than 91 days||Reemployed by the University to the position (with the pay, benefits, seniority, and other job perquisites) they would have attained with reasonable certainty if they did not take Military Leave.|
|More than 91 days||Reemployed by the University to the position (with the pay, benefits, seniority, and perquisites) they would have attained with reasonable certainty if they did not take Military Leave or a position of similar seniority, status, and pay.|
*For staff members who incur a disability or aggravate a disability during service that causes them to not be qualified for the position they would have held if no interruption of employment occurred, the University will provide them with a position that is equivalent in seniority, status, and pay.
|Active Military Service Period||Time Allowed to Return to Work|
|1-30 days||The next regularly scheduled workday after travel home and an eight hour rest period|
|31-180 days||Application for reemployment must be submitted within 14 days|
|181 or more days||Applicaitn for reemployment must be submitted within 90 days|
The deadlines listed above are extended in any case of disability incurred while on active military duty.
Health, dental, and vision. The employee may continue coverage by paying the full premium directly to the Benefits Division. Call up for active duty is a change of employment status that qualifies for making changes of enrollment that may be needed by the employee. The individual should contact the Benefits Division within 31 days of the call-up to make any changes of coverage needed for the individual or for family members.
Flexible spending account (FSA). The employee may not make contributions to the FSA plan while on a military leave. However, an employee may seek reimbursement for services received while actively participating in the plan before the leave began.
Retirement plan. Individual contributions and University matching contributions stop while an employee is on military leave. The employee may make after-tax contributions directly to the investment company. On return from military leave to employment, the employee may have up to three times his or her length of service to a maximum of five years to make up contributions missed during the leave, and the employee receives the University’s matching contribution for the made up contributions. No interest or earnings is due on the missed contributions.
Tuition. For purposes of the tuition benefit, continuous University service includes the service prior to the leave, the time during the military leave, and service after the leave, provided the full-time requirement is satisfied for the service periods prior to and following the military leave. Dependents receiving tuition benefits prior to a call-up may continue to receive those benefits during the leave of an employee called up for active duty through the completion of the term of study when the employee is called. Those called to active duty who seek continued eligibility for a dependent during their leave of absence may seek this eligibility through the provision in the tuition assistance plans calling for grant of the eligibility by the provost or the senior vice president for business and finance.
Employee requests leave. The employee should contact The Hartford. For induction or enlistment, evidence of the induction or enlistment date will be required. For call-up to active duty, verbal or written notice of call to active duty is required even if the call to active duty does not allow time for completion of the leave approval via The Hartford but documentary evidence for the call up is not required.
An employee returning from military leave is reinstated to his or her former or a comparable position without losing seniority unless it is impossible or unreasonable for the University to reinstate him or her. The following conditions govern reinstatement.
Certification of discharge. The employee must have received from the military service a certificate of honorable discharge or discharge under honorable conditions or of satisfactory service.
Timely application. The employee applies for reinstatement at the campus employment office within the legal time limits, as stated in “Duration,” above.
Rate of pay. An employee reinstated to his or her former position receives the rate of pay in effect when the military leave began, plus any general increases granted for such classifications during the absence. An employee assigned to a higher-graded position receives the minimum rate for the new position or the former rate of pay plus any general increase for the previous classification, whichever is higher, plus the normal promotional increase that would be awarded for the promotion.
Return to work. The department contacts the Office of Human Resources to arrange reinstatement in order to assure appropriate job assignment, pay rate, benefits enrollment, service accrual, and accrual plan for paid time off.
Retention. After return from military leave, an employee must be retained for a period of not less than one year unless he or she is discharged for cause or on account of a layoff carried out in seniority order in accordance with a contract or established practice.
Return from training. An employee returning from the active duty for training in the reserve or national guard is to be retained under the same conditions as above for six months.
View the following document created by the Department of Labor (DOL) for additional information on military laves for active duty: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/FMLA_Military_Guide_ENGLISH.pdf