Personnel Policies
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Employee Discounts

 Policy:  PG-11
 
 Subject:  Leave of Absence without Salaryfor Extended Active Military Service

Approval Date:  07/01/85
Revision Date:   11/30/01

PURPOSE:    

To establish the University's support and commitment to employees who are called to active or volunteer duty as members of the National Guard or military reserves.

ELIGIBILITY FOR LEAVE:   

Each full-time or part-time University faculty or staff member, who has completed at least one day of regular employment with the University immediately preceding the effective date of the requested military leave and who has been ordered to report to active duty on a specific date, is eligible upon advance written or verbal notice to the University or otherwise giving notice as prescribed by law.

LENGTH OF LEAVE:  

For the purpose of this policy, extended active military service is considered to be more than 14 calendar days.  Military service of 14 days or less falls under the guidelines of PG-10, Leave of Absence With Pay for Short-Term Military or National Guard Service or Training Duty.

Military Leaves of Absence under this policy are generally without pay; however, at the option of the employee, any accrued vacation leave may be used.

The cumulative length of the military leave of absence and all previous absences from a position of employment at the University by reason of service in the uniformed services generally shall not exceed five years except as set forth in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  (Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information).

LENGTH OF SERVICE CREDIT:   

The period of a military leave of absence will be added to any length of service credit that a faculty or staff member may have otherwise. 

MEMBERSHIP IN EMPLOYEE BENEFITS:   

Health and Dental Insurance:  If the military leave is for 30 or fewer days, employees will remain on the University's health and dental care plan.  If the leave is for more than 30 days, employees may elect COBRA coverage for themselves and their dependents, if applicable.  Prior to a military leave, provisions must be made for timely payment of any premiums/contributions due by the employee to ensure uninterrupted coverage.  Upon return to active service with the University, health and dental insurance coverage will be reinstated without any waiting period of exclusions for pre-existing conditions, other than the waiting periods or exclusions that would have applied had there not been an absence for military service.

Other University Insurance Programs:  These benefits cease 31 days from the end of the pay period in which the leave of absence for military service becomes effective.  Upon return to active duty, participation in the University's life insurance program will be in force immediately and will not be subject to any underwriting approval.

Retirement Programs:  During any period of unpaid military leave, no retirement contributions are paid by the University or by the employee on military leave.  Upon return to active employment, employees may receive service credit by paying the appropriate contributions according to regulations established by the applicable retirement system.

Vacation and Sick Leave:  Vacation and Sick Leave will not continue to accrue during any unpaid military leave period.  Military leave will count as active employment for purposes of determining the appropriate vacation and sick leave accrual rate.  Upon return to active employment following a military leave, vacation and sick leave balances will be restored and immediately available to the employee.

TIME OFF BEFORE MILITARY LEAVE COMMENCES:  

The employee is to be afforded sufficient time off from the employer prior to starting military duty in order to travel to the duty location and arrive fit to perform the military service.  Determination of exact time shall be made on a case-by-case basis.

RETURN TO ACTIVE UNIVERSITY SERVICE:

A faculty or staff member may return to active service with the University, if he/she so desires, at the termination of the military leave as long as he/she notifies his/her immediate supervisor or Dean of his/her intention to return to active University employment within the time frames set forth below:

a). Less than 31 days service:  By the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work period after the end of the calendar day of duty plus time required to return home safely and an eight-hour rest period.  If this is impossible or unreasonable, then return must be as soon as possible.

b). 31 to 180 days:  Employee must notify his/her immediate supervisor or Dean within 14 days of his/her completion of service.  If the 14th day falls on a non-business day, then notification may be delivered on the next business day thereafter.  If this is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, then as soon as possible.

c). 181 days or more:  Employee must notify his/her immediate supervisor or Dean within 90 days of completion of his/her military service.  If the 90th day falls on a non-business day, then notification may be delivered on the next business day thereafter.  If this is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, then as soon as possible.

d). Service-connected injury or illness:  Reporting or notification deadlines are extended for up to two years for employees who are hospitalized or convalescing.

As long as he/she meets the active duty separation requirements set forth in the Act, an employee returning from military leave shall return to the same position he/she would have had if continuously employed.  In cases where military leave exceeds 90 days, an employee may be given a different job if substantially equivalent to the position held before initiating military leave.  If the employee has been on active duty with the Kentucky National Guard, he/she must be returned to the position occupied before the leave, regardless of the length of the leave.  The employee must be awarded any promotions and pay increases that are awarded to similarly situated employees.

The University will seek to reasonably accommodate employees who become disabled because of military service of whose prior disability is aggravated by military service.

The University reserves the right to request documentation evidencing eligibility for return to employment as permitted by law. 

REPLACING AN EMPLOYEE ON MILITARY LEAVE:     

If it is necessary to replace a faculty or staff member who is granted a leave of absence for military service, the appointment of the new person will be for a period not longer than the duration of the military absence of the original person.  The new person shall be informed in writing of the conditions of employment when employment begins.