Overview and Purpose
Military Leave provides employment protection, income protection and a means for employees to secure time off when called to uniformed U.S. military service. For more information see the university's Handbook of Operating Procedures.
Military Leave, per the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), covers all categories of military training and service, including duty performed on a voluntary or involuntary basis, in time of peace or war. It applies to the National Guard and reserve military personnel and also applies to persons serving in the active components of the Armed Forces as provided by state and federal law.
You'll receive full pay for up to 15 work days in any federal fiscal year (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30) for authorized training or duty in the National Guard or armed forces reserves. The days need not be consecutive. The law requires all employees to provide their employers with advance notice of military service and policy requires a copy of the orders be provided to the supervisor. An employee may carry forward from one federal fiscal year to the next the net balance of accumulated leave that does not exceed 45 days.
Employees who meet the following criteria are eligible for military leave:
- State employees called to active duty or authorized military training for the State’s military forces or any reserve branch of the U.S. armed forces.
- State employees who are members of a reserve branch of the U.S. armed forces and who are called to duty due to a national emergency.
- State employees, who are members of the state military forces called to state active duty by the Governor, are entitled to paid emergency time off for the time in which they are on active duty. This time is not limited and does not count against military or annual time off.
All paid military time off is subject to a maximum of 15 days per federal fiscal year and carryover may not exceed 45 days. Active duty in the National Guard for an emergency as called by the Governor, or federal active duty for the purpose of providing assistance to civil authorities in a declared emergency, or for training for that purpose, is entitled to receive emergency time off for not more than 22 workdays without loss of military time off.
Annual Time Off, Sick Time, and State Service
The employee accrues annual time off and sick time off while on military leave. Annual time off and sick time that accrues while the employee is on leave is frozen, to be held for the employee until return to employment.
After exhausting the 15 days of paid military time off, an employee may use previously accrued vacation time off to the extent available or be placed in a military time off without pay status, or a combination of the two, for the remainder of the active duty period. This time off may be used intermittently throughout the leave period.
The employee accrues state service credit while on extended military leave.
Unpaid Extended Military Time Off
After exhausting the fifteen (15) business days of paid military time off, eligible employees are entitled to unpaid extended military time off under the following conditions:
- As members of the United States Armed Forces reserve components called to active duty during a national emergency or
- As members of the state military forces, the United States Armed Forces reserve components, or the United States Armed Forces leaving a university position to enter active military service.
Military Pay Differential
Military pay is comprised of Base Pay, BAH, BAS, and other special allowances, including Family Separation Allowance, Hardship Duty Pay, and Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay.
Military pay (Base pay plus BAH and BAS) should be included when calculating military pay differential. For purposes of determining military differential pay, Texas Government Code, Section 661.9041, specifically excludes only pay received while serving in a combat zone, hardship duty pay, and family separation pay from the calculation used to determine the pay differential. The combination of differential and military pay may not exceed the employee’s actual state gross pay.
To claim differential pay, the employee must submit a copy of their pay stub, along with a copy of their orders to Leave Management. Leave Management will coordinate with Payroll Services to calculate any differential pay due.
Notification or Request for Military Time Off
The employee must notify the supervisor of the call to military service as soon as the information is known. Service members must provide advance written or verbal notice to their employers for all military duty unless giving notice is impossible, unreasonable, or precluded by military necessity. A copy of the orders is required by university policy, and may be provided at the end of such leave should circumstances prevent the employee from providing it in advance.
- The employee shall promptly and accurately record the use of military time off on their Time Entry Calendar.
- Employees called to active duty by the Governor because of a state emergency, who are eligible to use Emergency Time Off, are expected to promptly and accurately record the use of Emergency Time Off on their Time Entry Calendar.
Supervisor and Department Responsibilities
- The supervisor and/or department must verify that the employee has accurately recorded the time off and approve the request.
- The department shall place the employee on extended military time off without pay when applicable.
Funeral Honors Duty
Funeral honors duty can be used by employees for the purpose of performing authorized funeral honors duty under section 10 U.S.C. 12503. (Section 10 references “service in the uniformed services.”)
- USERRA's definition of “service in the uniformed services” includes a period for which an employee is absent from employment for the purpose of performing authorized funeral honors duty under 10 U.S.C. 12503 (members of Reserve ordered to perform funeral honors duty) or 32 U.S.C. 115 (Member of Air or Army National Guard ordered to perform funeral honors duty).
- Funeral honors duty performed by persons who are not members of the uniformed services, such as members of veterans' service organizations, is not “service in the uniformed services.”
Family and Medical Leave Act
Military Caregiver Leave
Military Caregiver Leave provides up to 26 weeks of unpaid time off to an employee to care for a family member (spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin) who is injured while serving on active military duty or for veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for serious injury or illness that occurred any time during the five years preceding the date of treatment.
Employees must submit the following two forms to Leave Management to apply for Military Caregiver Leave:
- Request for FMLA form (PDF)
- Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service member for Military Family Leave form (PDF) or written documentation confirming that the covered service member’s injury or illness was incurred in the line of duty on active duty, that the covered service member is undergoing treatment for such injury or illness by a health care provider, and that specific information on the amount and duration of leave the employee needs.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
Qualifying Exigency (QE) leave provides up to 12 weeks of leave for urgent, non-medical needs related to a reservist or active duty service member’s (spouse, son, daughter, or parent’s) call to active service.
Definition of urgent needs under qualifying exigency leave–The Department’s final rule defines qualifying exigency by referring to a number of broad categories for which employees can use FMLA leave:
- Short-notice deployment;
- Military events and related activities;
- Childcare and school activities;
- Financial and legal arrangements;
- Non-medical Counseling;
- Rest and recuperation;
- Post-deployment activities; and
- Additional activities not encompassed in the other categories, but agreed to by the employer and employee.
The following two forms are needed to apply for Qualifying Exigency Leave:
- Request for FMLA form (PDF)
- Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave form (PDF)
- USERRA: The Law
- Introduction to the Regulations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994
- Non-Technical Guide to Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
- Texas Government Code: Sec. 431.005. Leave of Absence for Public Officers and Employees
- Human Resources Family and Medical Leave Act Web Page
- Leave/Time Off Policies Under the Handbook of Operating Procedures
Delegation of Authority
Authority is hereby delegated to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, or designee, to determine military leave eligibility and approve use of leave.
For Assistance: Questions regarding military leave and time off should be directed to Human Resources, Leave Management at HRS-LM@austin.utexas.edu or by phone at 512-471-7008.
Source: Texas Government Code Sec. 661.9041, as passed in 2003; Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940; The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Acts, Title 38 U.S.C., Sections 4301-4333; Texas Government Code, Sections 413.005, 613.001-613.023, 658.008, 661.903-661.904; BOR 1.III.22 and 2.V.2.1; Previous policies: HOP 9.96; PM 7.105