UD Seal
Human Resources

Military Leave

Section: Human Resources Policies
Policy Name: Military Leave
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of Human Resources
Origination Date: September 7, 1999
Revisions: September 26, 2001; March 1, 2003; April 4, 2005; August 12, 2010; March 2015; March 2016
Legacy Policy Number: 4-53
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses military leave for eligible employees and reemployment rights for those employees.
  2. DEFINITIONSEligible Employee: All employees engaged in the following types of military service: active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty, funeral honors duty performed by National Guard or Reserve members, submitting to an examination to determine fitness for any of these services, service as an intermittent disaster response appointee of the National Disaster Medical System when you are activated under federal authority or attending authorized training in support of a federal mission.
  3. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
    1. USERRA.  It is the policy of the University to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA) and applicable state law which protect job rights and benefits for veterans and members of the reserves. The law covers all persons serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service commissioned corps, and the reserve components of these services and the National Guard, including Delaware National Guard who are called to state active duty.
    2. NOTICE.  Unless precluded by military necessity or circumstances under which the giving of notice is otherwise impracticable or unreasonable, the employee (or an appropriate officer of the uniformed service in which the employee is to serve) must give as much advance written or oral notice as possible of the need for military leave.
    3. NON-DISCRIMINATION/NON-RETALIATION: The University of Delaware shall not unlawfully discriminate in the employment of any person because of his/her past, current or future military obligations. The University also shall not take any adverse employment action against any person because he/she has exercised a right or taken an action to enforce a protection afforded under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (the Act), or has testified, assisted or otherwise participated in a proceeding or investigation under the Act.
    4. TYPES OF LEAVE:
      1. ENCAMPMENT
        1. Employees who belong to National Guard or Military Reserve units and who are required to attend annual reserve training periods or encampment programs may elect to take vacation, if sufficient earned days of vacation are available, or to take a military leave of absence.
        2. If military leave of absence is elected, “make-up pay” for a period not to exceed 14 consecutive days in any one calendar year will be granted for those employees who have completed 90 or more days of University service. The “makeup pay” will be the difference between military pay for the training duty (not including military allowances such as per diem) and the individual’s University salary for each day of absence. To receive “makeup pay” each employee will be responsible for furnishing proof of participation in military training and a statement of government pay received.
      2. ENLISTMENT, DRAFT, CALL TO ACTIVE DUTYIf an employee is absent from work due to active military service, the University will grant the employee a leave of absence for the duration of such period of service up to the maximum required by USERRA. Employees who enlist, are drafted, or are called to active duty in the uniformed services will be placed on leave of absence without pay.
    5. PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:
      1. An employee who has to leave his or her job for military training must provide prompt notice to his or her supervisor before leaving, unless precluded by military necessity, or providing such notice is impracticable or impossible.
      2. The employee must report back to work in a timely manner. Employees whose active military duty is fewer than 31 days must return to work 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-hour rest period. Those serving between 31 and 180 days must submit a notification for reemployment within 14 days of release from service. Those serving 181 days or more must submit a notification for reemployment within 90 days of release from service.
      3. The employee must provide official documentation of military leave for periods of leave that are longer than 30 days.
    6. REINSTATEMENT OF EMPLOYMENT: The University will reinstate returning service members, if the following criteria are satisfied:
      1. the employee had been employed in a regular staff or faculty position;
      2. the employee gave notice to the employer before leaving, unless precluded by military necessity, or providing such notice is impracticable or impossible;
      3. the cumulative period of active service did not exceed five years, excluding certain services required by, among other things, a declared war or national emergency;
      4. the employee was not dishonorably discharged from the military;
      5. the employee reported back to the civilian job in a timely manner, in accordance with the USERRA (see the table below); and
      6. circumstances have not changed so as to make such reemployment impossible or unreasonable and does not impose an undue hardship on the University.
        Period of Service Action Employee Must Take When Action Must Be Taken From Completion of Service
        1-30 days Report to work 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-hour rest period
        31-180 days Must request reinstatement of employment Within 14 days of release from service
        Over 180 days Must request reinstatement of employment Within 90 days of release from service

        The University may request that the employee present a certificate of discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions.

    7. REEMPLOYMENT POSITIONS
      1. A person whose military service is 90 days or less must be promptly reemployed in the following order of priority:
        1. In the job the person would have held had the person remained continuously employed so long as the person is qualified for the job, or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person; or,
        2. If the employee cannot become qualified for the position in (a), in the employee’s pre-service position so long as the person is qualified for the job or could become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer; or
        3. If the employee cannot become qualified for the position in either (a) or (b), in any other position, which is the nearest approximation of (a) for which the person is qualified, with full seniority.
      2. A person whose military service lasted 91 days or more must be promptly reemployed in the following order of priority:
        1. In the job the person would have held had the person remained continuously employed, or a position of equivalent seniority, status, and pay so long as the person is qualified for the job, or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person; or,
        2. If the employee cannot become qualified for the position in (a), in the employee’s pre-service position so long as the person is qualified for the job or could become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer; or
        3. If the employee cannot become qualified for the position in either (a) or (b), in any other position, which is the nearest approximation of (a) for which the person is qualified, with full seniority.
    8.  BENEFITS
      1. The University provides continued funding toward benefits for employees who are on military leave. Therefore, for up to 24 months, an employee called to active duty with the Guard or Reserve for other than training purposes, may continue University health care, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability benefits provided that the employee continues to pay any employee-share premium for such plans. For additional information regarding the continuation of benefits while on leave, please contact the Human Resources Benefits department at 302-831-2171 or email hrhelp@udel.edu.
      2. Pension Plan: If an employee is not yet vested in his or her retirement plan, time spent on military leave will count towards the plan’s vesting period. For those who are vested, the University will give service credit for pension accrual to those who go on active duty as though they never left. In addition, returning employees are entitled to the accrued pension benefits that are contingent upon making, or derived from, employee contributions.
      3. University 403(b) Plan: Employees participating in the University of Delaware’s 403(b) Retirement Plan may make up any contributions missed due to being on leave when they return to work. Although the requirements for making retroactive contributions are complex under the controlling law, and we will advise you of your specific rights and obligations upon your reemployment, you should understand that returning employees may take up to three times the length of military service, to a maximum of five years, to make up contributions which were not made during military leave. Moreover, makeup contributions are not subject to the annual limitations on plan contributions.
      4. Other Benefits: The coverage provided by insurance such as group life insurance and long-term disability insurance will be reinstated, with no waiting period, when the employee returns to active employment with the University.
      5. Dependents of employees who are eligible or become eligible for tuition remission benefits and course fee waiver benefits will retain this eligibility during the time the employee is on military leave.Myriad issues may arise concerning your rights during military leave. This policy does not address all such issues. Insofar as issues arise that are not addressed in this policy, the University will abide by USERRA and any controlling state law. Should you have any questions or require further information, please contact the Human Resources Department for further information regarding military leave.

        See Family & Medical Leave Policy addressing situations where employees have a family member in the military and need leave for Military Caregiver Leave and Qualifying Exigency Leave.