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Military Duty-related Leave & Entitlements

When You Are Called to Active Duty

Military Leave, Shared Leave & Insurance Coverage

Military Leave: If you are called to active duty in one of the uniformed services of the United States you are entitled to 21 paid work days of military leave per year (each October 1 through September 30) if you work an average of 20 or more hours per workweek. In addition, if you are called to active duty, you may be entitled to up to 5 years unpaid military leave with protections provided by state and federal law.

Shared Leave: If you are called to active duty and you will have to exhaust your paid leave, you may be eligible to receive donations of leave (shared leave) from other employees and/or from the State of Washington's Uniformed Services Shared Leave Pool.

To learn about your military leave entitlements and shared leave, select the link for your type of appointment (contract classified, classified non-union, librarian, professional staff), and look for the military and shared leave links on the right side of the page.

Insurance Continuation

Your UW paid health insurance coverage remains in effect as long as you are in pay status for a minimum of 8 hours in a month. You may space out (intersperse) your monthly use of available paid leave to retain employer-paid medical and dental insurance benefits for as long as possible while on military leave.  The following types of paid leave/time off may be interspersed.

If you are on unpaid military leave and do not intersperse paid leave or self pay, employer-paid medical and dental insurance is suspended.

If You Have a Family Member Who is Called to Active Duty

If you are the Spouse of a Service Member

During a period of military conflict if you are the spouse of a member of the United States armed forces, national guard or reserves, and you work an average of 20 hours or more per workweek, you are entitled to a total of fifteen days of leave per deployment after the service member has been notified of an impending call to active duty and before deployment, or when the service member is on leave from deployment. You may use accrued paid leave, including annual or sick leave, personal holiday, or compensatory time if available, otherwise the time off is taken as leave without pay. If you take leave under this provision, you are entitled to be returned to the your regular position or to an equivalent position.

You must notify the supervisor of the your intent to take leave under this provision within five business days of receiving official notice of either an impending call to active duty, or of a leave from deployment.

All Family Members

The following information applies to relatives who meet the definition of family member.

Family and Medical Leave Act Entitlements

If you meet the Family and Medical Leave Act's eligibility requirements, you are eligible to take up to 12 workweeks of job-protected time off work per year due to any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that you have a family member on active duty, or who has been notified of an impending call to active duty from the Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard in support of a contingency operation. This provision does not apply to family members of individuals in the Regular Armed Forces Reserves. A call to active duty refers to a Federal call to active duty. State calls to active duty are not covered unless under order of the President of the United States in support of a contingency operation.

Service Member Family Leave

If you are an FMLA-eligible family member or next of kin of a member of the armed forces, you can take up to 26 workweeks of "Service Member Family Leave" during a single 12-month period to care for a covered service member who is,

The "Service Member Family Leave" is not in addition to the 12 workweeks of FMLA leave that is available for other reasons. For example, if you have already used 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for another reason, you would have 14 workweeks of Service Member Family Leave available.

For Service Member Family Leave, if you will have to exhaust your paid leave, you may be eligible to receive donations of leave (shared leave) from other employees. To learn about shared leave, select the link for your type of appointment (contract classified, classified non-union, librarian, professional staff), and look for the shared leave link on the right side of the page.

Use of Paid Leave and Health Insurance Coverage

If you have to take FMLA-covered time off work because of a qualifying exigency arising out of a family member's active duty or call to active duty and the family member is not injured or ill, you would be eligible to use vacation leave, compensatory time off, personal holiday, or unpaid leave to cover the time off.

If you have to take "Service Member Family Leave," you would be eligible to use sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time off, personal holiday, unpaid leave, or donated shared leave to cover the time off.

If you have to take unpaid time off for either of the reasons listed above, the University will continue your employer-paid health insurance coverage during time off that is covered by the FMLA. You would be responsible for any employee-paid premiums or co-payments.

Getting Help

Planning leave use if you are called to active duty, or if you have a family member in the armed services that you provide care or support can be complex. The Human Resources Consultant that serves your department can help answer questions you may have about the leave you are eligible to use, and whether your absence will be covered by the FMLA.

You may contact the Benefits office to request an appointment with a staff member who can help you with questions you may have regarding insurance coverage and other benefits-related matters.