Military Leave

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County officers and employees who are called to active military duty are entitled to military leave and to re-employment and restoration of benefits under both state and federal law upon their return from active duty. County employers must provide the benefits mandated by these statutory provisions to returning employees. The rights and benefits provided for in the two statutes are similar but not identical.

Following is a summary of the provisions of the state and federal laws:

  • Employment discrimination because of past, current or future military service is prohibited.
  • Employers are required to grant employees a leave of absence for the period necessary to perform military service. Employees cannot be required to use accrued leave or vacation time, but if the employee requests annual leave or paid vacation the employer must allow it.
  • Employees returning from military service are entitled to restoration of employment with seniority, status and pay rate as if continuously employed.
  • Employees on leave of absence for military service do not continue to accumulate vacation or sick leave. However, if the employer allows accrual of vacation or sick leave for employees who are on furlough or leave of absence, then an employee who is absent for military service is entitled to the same benefit.
  • Employees on military leave are entitled to elect to continue their health insurance for up to 18 months and may be required to pay the employee’s share of the premium. And, an employee may be required to pay the employee cost of any other continued funded benefit to the extent other employees on furlough or leave of absence are required to do so.
  • State law grants paid military leave, for up to 20 working days in any one calendar year, to county officers and employees while they are performing military service. After the 20 working days of full compensation, any public employer may, but is not required to, provide partial compensation to its employees while under competent orders.