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Military Duty Related Leave


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  • Military Leave for Service Members


Military Leave for Service Members

UW employees who enlist in or who are called to active duty in any of the uniformed armed service branches and their reserves, the US Coast Guard, the National Guard and the uniformed branches of the US Public Health Service, have rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Washington state law. These rights include:

The following tables summarize information about taking and returning from military leave

Military Leave

  Provision or Entitlement
Notification In order to retain military leave eligibility, employees must give the UW advance notice before leaving work to go on active duty in a uniformed service.
Paid military leave Eligible employees are entitled to 21 paid work days of military leave per year (October 1 through September 30 - based on federal fiscal year).
Unpaid military leave Unpaid military leave is generally for the duration of active duty, up to five (5) years. Employees who enlist and exhaust the paid military leave entitlement will be considered to be on military leave without pay, unless they have submitted a written resignation from employment to enter uniformed service.

Employees who do not return to UW service within five (5) years will normally be considered to have resigned employment.
Salary continuation There is no salary continuation other than for time in paid military leave, or by using accrued paid leave (if available). However employees on unpaid military leave are eligible to accept shared leave donations from other eligible employees.
Medical and Dental insurance coverage continuation

State employees continue to receive employer-paid medical and dental insurance while they remain in pay status at least eight (8) hours per month. Under University policy, employees may space out - intersperse - their monthly use of available paid leave and/or compensatory time to retain employer-paid medical and dental insurance benefits for as long as possible while on military leave. The following types of paid leave may be interspersed:

  • Paid military leave - all faculty and staff
  • Annual leave - faculty with 12 month appointments and staff and librarians who accrue annual leave
  • Compensatory time - classified staff and overtime eligible professional staff.

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

Other insurance coverage and retirement benefits Contact the UW Benefits Office for information about and assistance with other insurance benefits the UW offers.

Returning to Work After Military Leave

Condition or Issue Provision or Entitlement
General Provisions When an employee returns to his/her regular UW position, the employee receives all of the rights and benefits that he/she would have received if continuously employed. This includes pay increases or other entitlements that the employee would have received had the employee not been on military leave. This means, for example, that time spent on military leave without pay is considered to have been time worked for purposes of determining FMLA eligibility and completion of probationary periods.
Annual leave accrual rate Annual leave does not accrue during unpaid military leave of ten (10) or more days per month. However, upon return to work, the ensuing annual leave accrual rate is adjusted as though the employee had been continuously in pay status.
Classified staff salary Increments Upon return to work at the UW, classified staff are placed at the step in the range that would have been reached if unpaid military leave not been taken.
Classified staff seniority Your time on paid and unpaid military leave is included in seniority calculations.

Return to Work Notice Requirements

Military Leave Duration Notice Required
Less than 31 days Employees report to work on the first scheduled work period on the first full calendar day following completion of service plus eight (8) hours
Between 31 and 181 days Employees request reinstatement within 14 calendar days of completion of service
More than 180 days Employees request reinstatement no later than 90 days following completion of service

Leave for Spouses of Service Members

During a period of military conflict, an employee who is the spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States, national guard, or reserves who has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty or who has been deployed, is entitled to a total of 15 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. The spouse may use annual leave, sick leave, the personal holiday, or compensatory time if available, otherwise the time is taken as leave without pay. To take leave under this provision, the spouse must work an average of 20 or more hours per workweek, and must notify the supervisor within five business days of receiving the official notice of an impending call to active duty, or of a leave from deployment.

The employee must notify the supervisor of the employee’s intent to take leave under this policy within five business days of receiving official notice of either an impending call to active duty, or of a leave from deployment.


Requests for Paid or Unpaid Military Leave

When you learn that an employee in your unit has been called to active duty service, refer the employee to the UW’s Employee Military Leave page for employees to find: If your employee’s request for military leave is without advance notice, contact your Human Resources Consultant for assistance.