California law requires that employees who work an average of at least 20 hours per week may take up to ten days of unpaid leave while their spouse is on leave from military deployment. To be eligible for this leave, the employee’s spouse must be a member of the Armed Forces of the United States (including National Guard or Reserves) on leave from deployment during a period of military conflict in an area designated as a combat theater or combat zone. Under California law, “spouse” is defined to include a registered domestic partner.
Within two business days of receiving official notice that the spouse will be on leave, the employee must submit a written notice of intent to take this leave to his/her manager. A faculty member will submit this written notice of intent to the department chair (who will notify both the dean and the Provost’s office). The employee must also submit a copy of the orders for his/her spouse certifying that the spouse will be on leave from deployment during the time of the employee’s leave.
When these procedures are followed, managers cannot deny such leave requests. Further, it is unlawful to retaliate or discriminate in any way against a qualified employee for exercising his/her rights under this law.
This leave will not prevent a qualified employee from taking any other leave to which s/he is otherwise entitled. A staff employee may use vacation or sick accruals, when permissible, to receive pay during this leave; the employee may also take the time as leave without pay.
Human Resources Administration
Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California