Staff HR Policy D-727.01
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture
Military Leave Procedure
It is the College's policy to support our faculty and staff who continue to serve their country in the uniformed services, which includes Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard; Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve; Army National Guard or Air National Guard; Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service; or any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency; in accordance with federal and state law, in particular the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This staff procedure is intended to carry out policy D-727.00 Military Leave.
Service in the Uniformed Services
Service is defined as the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service, including: active duty; active duty for training; initial active duty for training; inactive duty training; full-time National Guard duty; absence from work for an examination to determine a person's fitness for any of the above types of duty; funeral honors duty performed by National Guard or reserve members; and duty performed by intermittent disaster response personnel for the Public Health service and approved training to prepare for such service.
Notice of Military Leave
An employee shall provide his or her immediate supervisor with written or oral notice that the employee will be engaging in uniformed service, including, where feasible, a copy of the orders directing the service. Notice may also be provided by an appropriate officer of the branch of military in which the employee will be serving. Failure to provide notice may render the employee ineligible for the rights and benefits contained in the military leave policy and procedures However no notice will be required if military necessity prevents the giving of notice, or the giving of notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable.
Temporary Military Leave (1-14 days of uniformed service)
- In the event that the military pay is less than the employee's College base pay, any regular full-time College employee is entitled to differential pay during temporary military leave. The College will reimburse the employee the difference between the base pay earned at the College during the same time for every temporary military leave of fourteen days or less.
- All employee benefits will continue during a military leave of 1-30 days.
Other Military Leave (15+ days of uniformed service)
Subject to a lifetime cap of twelve (12) calendar months, any regular full-time College employees is entitled to differential pay during military leave. In the event that the military pay is less than the employee's College base pay, the College will reimburse the employee the difference between the base pay for uniformed service and their base pay earned at the College during the same time. This provision may be extended on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Human Resources or designee.
Employee (non-dependent) medical/dental coverage, long-term disability and term life benefits will be terminated for a leave of 31 or more days. An employee may elect to continue coverage for up to 24 months at his or her expense. An employee's cost for the continuation of coverage shall not exceed 102% of the full premium.
The College shall continue to provide dependent medical/dental coverage for up to twelve (12) calendar months for any regular full-time College employee engaging in uniformed service. After twelve (12) calendar months, an employee/dependent may elect to continue coverage up to 24 months at his or her expense. An employee's/dependent's cost for the continuation of coverage shall not exceed 102% of the full premium.
Tuition waiver benefit shall continue for any eligible dependents for a period of time not to exceed the five-year cumulative service limit of their military service.
Vacation and sick time benefits shall be accrued during this one-year period and will be applied upon the employee's return to work. If the employee does not return to his/her job, the accrued vacation time balance before the active duty shall be paid.
Voluntary supplemental life/AD&D insurance will terminate the day the employee becomes active military. Converting to an individual policy may continue voluntary life insurance coverage. To exercise this conversion option, dependents must submit a written application and the first premium payment within 31 days immediately following the termination of coverage.
Employees who are members of Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS) or Optional Retirement Program (ORP) will continue retirement participation according to the employee's retirement plan guidelines. Guidelines for both plans allow for reporting of wages and contributions for remuneration earned by a member for service performed as a public school employee.
Section V.3.1 of MPSERS states Military wages paid by the US government while on active duty are not reportable. Since NMC pays a wage differential (difference between the US government military pay and their NMC pay) this pay is also not reportable since it is a paid benefit and not wages earned. MPSERS allows members to apply for service credits of intervening military time as defined below. The service credits are awarded free of purchase cost and are counted in computing the defined benefit retirement.
MPSERS Intervening Active Duty Military Service Credit: The employee may receive up to six years of service credit at no cost if they leave school employment, directly enter active duty in the U.S. armed forces, including reserve components and periods of training, and return to Michigan public school employment within 24 months of discharge. If the required service extends beyond 6 years, the employee should contact MPSERS for more information.
The employee may use intervening military credit to satisfy vesting requirements. The employee will, however, still need to have ten years of public school service before they can receive credit for other service credit purchases.
The Optional Retirement Plan provides for payment of the employer contribution upon the employees return to the College, if they return while the re-hire rules are in effect according to USERRA (Section 414(u)). The employee has the option of making the employee contribution to their account.
Differential Pay Procedure
A regular full-time employee shall provide the College with his/her military pay information when the military pay is less than the employee's regular College. The College will pay the employee's full pay until documentation of the military pay can be provided, for a period not to exceed 45 days. Non-compliance may result in termination of pay until documentation is provided.
Upon receipt of the military pay information, any overpayment will reduce subsequent pays until the College is reimbursed for the overpayment. The reduction will be spread over a period of time not to exceed the end of the calendar year, subject to any extension approved by the Director of Human Resources or designee.
Return to Work
Service of 1 to 30 days: the employee must return to work at the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work day or 8 hours after the end of the military duty, allowing for reasonable commuting time from the military duty station to home.
Service of 31 to 180 days: application for reinstatement must be submitted to the College not later than 14 days after completion of military duty.
Service of 181 days up to 5 cumulative years: application for reinstatement must be submitted not later than 90 days after completion of military duty.
Reinstatement applications shall be granted for a period of time not to exceed five years, in accordance with the cumulative service limit provisions of the USERRA.
For service of 1 to 90 days: (a) the person will be returned to a job they would have held had he or she remained continuously employed (possibly a promoted position), so long as the person is qualified for the job or can become qualified after reasonable efforts by the employer, or (b) if the person cannot become qualified, then in the position the person was employed in on the date of the commencement of the military service.
Service of 91 or more days: (a) same as for service up to 90 days, or a position of like seniority, status and pay, so long as he or she is qualified, or (b) if the person cannot become qualified, in the position the person was employed on the date of the commencement of the military service or which nearly approximates that position.
Reemployed service members are entitled to the seniority and all rights and benefits based on seniority that they would have attained with reasonable certainty had they remained continuously employed.
Protection from Discharge
A reemployed employee may not be discharged without cause as follows:
- For one year after the date of reemployment if the person's period of military service was for more than six months (181 days or more).
- For six months after the date of reemployment if the person's period of military service was for 31 to 180 days.
- Persons who serve for 30 or fewer days are not protected from discharge without cause.
This policy and procedure are not intended to be all inclusive. If there exists any conflict between NMC policy/procedure and any Federal/State law or regulation, the law or regulation shall prevail. For more information regarding the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, please call (1-866) 487-2365, or access http://www.dol.gov/vets.
For the U.S. Department of Labor Publication on "your rights..." click here: http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/USERRA_Private.pdf.
If any provisions(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provisions(s).
Authorized on 11/23/09