July 1, 2002

Military Leave (Unpaid)

All employees are eligible. Additional provisions may apply to faculty. (Faculty should reference the Faculty Handbook.)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) provides for job and benefits protection for an individual who has left his/her job to enter service in the uniformed services of the United States and received an honorable discharge upon leaving the service.

A faculty or staff employee who has left his or her job to enter service in the uniformed services of the United States will be granted a leave without pay. For tenure-track faculty, such leaves may result in extension of the Tenure Decision Date. In order to be covered by the policy, the cumulative length of a person’s absence from a job may not exceed five years. A staff employee may utilize vacation accruals. (The uniformed services of the United States include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Reserves for each of these branches of the military. Also included is service in the Army or Air National Guard, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency.)

A faculty or staff employee must provide oral or written notice of military service to his or her dean or supervisor as soon as he or she knows of the service, unless military necessity prevents such notice. A dean or supervisor may not deny a request for a military leave.

Application for Re-employment

For service less than 31 days, the faculty or staff employee must return to work on the first regularly scheduled workday following completion of service, allowing time for safe transportation back to the individual’s residence, plus eight hours. The faculty or staff employee must be reinstated in his or her original position, unless reinstatement is unreasonable or impossible (e.g., for staff, the position was eliminated in a layoff or, for faculty, due to a change in academic program).

For periods of service of more than 30 days, but less than 91 days, the faculty or staff employee must submit a request for re-employment to his or her dean or supervisor within 14 days following completion of service. The faculty or staff employee must be reinstated in his or her original position, unless reinstatement is unreasonable or impossible (e.g., for staff, the position was eliminated in a layoff or, for faculty, due to a change in academic program).

For periods of service more than 90 days but less than 180 days, the faculty or staff employee must submit a request for reemployment to his or her dean or supervisor within 14 days following completion of service. The faculty or staff employee must either be reinstated in his or her original position or, for staff employees, offered a position with comparable status, pay and benefits, with no loss of seniority, unless reinstatement is unreasonable or impossible (e.g., for staff, the position was eliminated in a layoff or, for faculty, due to a change in academic program).

For service in excess of 180 days, the employee must submit a request for reemployment to his or her dean or supervisor within 90 days following completion of service. The employee must either be reinstated in his or her original position or, for staff, offered a position with comparable status, pay and benefits, with no loss of seniority, unless reinstatement is unreasonable or impossible (e.g., for staff, the position was eliminated in a layoff or, for faculty, due to a change in academic program).

The university will provide any “refresher” training which may be necessary to update skills necessary for the employee to perform his or her duties.

The time limits noted above may be extended if an individual is hospitalized or convalescing from injury or illness incurred while in military service. In the case of an individual with a service-related disability, the university will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability so the person can perform the duties of that position that he or she would have held without the interruption of military service. If the disability makes performance of that job impossible, even after reasonable accommodation, the university will make reasonable efforts to provide a position with comparable status, pay and benefits, with no loss of seniority. If neither option is possible due to the person’s disability, the university will provide a position as comparable as possible, consistent with the circumstances of the person’s individual case.

Even if a faculty or staff employee notifies his or her dean or supervisor that he or she does not intend to return to work upon completion of the military service, the university may be obligated to reemploy the individual after his or her military leave has ended. Such notice by the faculty or staff employee does not waive his or her re-employment rights as described above.

A faculty or staff employee on military leave will not lose seniority, regardless of the length of separation, up to five years, and the time spent in military service will be considered university service for purposes of benefit vesting and accrual.

USERRA prohibits discrimination against any employee or prospective employee with regard to hiring, retention, promotion, or other employment benefit by virtue of the person’s past, present, or future application for or membership in a uniformed service.

Military Leave (Unpaid) Addendum

This addendum to the university’s Military Leave Policy provides for additional benefits for university employees who are called to active duty in the uniformed services of the United States. All faculty and staff employees are eligible. This temporary addendum is being instituted as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the United States’ military response. The provisions of this benefit are in effect from October 1, 2001 until such time as the university rescinds these provisions. Additional provisions in existing policies apply to faculty and staff employees. Faculty should reference the Faculty Handbook. Both faculty and staff should reference the Military Leave policy (above).

A faculty or staff employee who has been called, or is likely to be called, to active military duty should advise his or her supervisor or dean, home department coordinator and Human Resources Administration at uschr@usc.edu or (213) 821-8100 to make certain the terms of this addendum are put into effect.

Compensation

Should the monthly compensation a faculty or staff employee receives from the military during active duty be less than his or her monthly university base salary, the employee’s department will pay the differential amount of compensation during the first six months the employee is on military leave (“differential compensation”). While the faculty or staff employee will not receive differential compensation for military leave beyond that time period, the provisions of the university’s Military Leave policy and this addendum provide certain job and benefits guarantees. To receive differential compensation, the employee must provide his or her department with documentation confirming the amount of his or her military pay during the leave.

Benefits

The university will continue to pay the employer’s contribution toward those benefits in which a faculty or staff employee is enrolled at the beginning of the military leave and will continue to pay those contributions for a period of six months. During this time, in order to continue coverage, the employee must continue paying the employee contribution. If the differential compensation does not cover the employee’s contribution toward benefits, the employee should contact the HR Service Center at (213) 821-8100 to make arrangements to provide payment.

A faculty or staff employee on military leave extending beyond six months may continue health and dental coverage, but must pay the full cost of the premiums. Employees should contact the HR Service Center at (213) 821-8100 at the end of their first six months of military leave to review the possible continuation of medical and dental coverage and their options for continuing other benefits (e.g., retirement, life insurance, pre-tax payment accounts, etc.).

Tuition Assistance

During a military leave of absence, both the employee and his or her dependents will retain tuition assistance benefits as if the faculty or staff employee had continued active employment at the university.

Responsible Offices

Human Resources Administration

uschr@usc.edu
(213) 821-8100

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

(213) 740-6715

Issued By

Dennis F. Dougherty, Senior Vice President for Administration
Lloyd Armstrong, Jr., Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
University of Southern California