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Skidmore College
Human Resources

Military Leave Policy

The college recognizes the need to have a policy that addresses the employment and reemployment rights of full- and part-time employees who serve in the military. It is the policy of the college to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA), as amended, and applicable state law, which protect job rights and benefits for veterans and members of the reserves. The law covers all persons serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service commissioned corps, and the reserve components of these services, the National Disaster Medical System and the National Guard.

USERRA gives protections to those individuals who are absent from work for active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training (such as drills), inactive duty training, full-time National Guard and/or National Disaster Medical System duty, and a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any such duty.

Notice Period

Unless precluded by military necessity or circumstances under which the giving of notice is otherwise impracticable or unreasonable, the employee (or an appropriate officer of the uniformed service in which the employee is to serve) must give as much advance written or oral notice as possible of the need for military leave.  It is the employee's responsibility to submit a copy of his/her military orders prior to their leave and, if extended, submit a copy of their extended orders in a timely manner to ensure their position at the college.

Inactive Duty

If an employee is a member of one of the reserve units noted above, and is required to attend training or annual two-week encampment or any other type of military exercise, the employee may elect to take vacation, if sufficient earned days of vacation are available, or to take a military leave of absence. It is the employee's responsibility to submit a copy of his/her military orders prior to their leave and, if extended, submit a copy of their extended orders in a timely manner to ensure their position at the college.

Active Duty

If an employee is absent from work due to active military service, the college will grant the employee a leave of absence for the duration of such period of service up to the maximum required by USERRA. It is the employee's responsibility to submit a copy of his/her military orders prior to their leave and, if extended, submit a copy of their extended orders in a timely manner to ensure their position at the college.

Employment and Pay

If military leave of absence is elected under either an Inactive or Active Duty assignment, "makeup pay" for a period of 10 work days or 14 calendar days (whichever is greater) in a 12-month period will be granted. The "makeup pay" will be the difference between the normal base salary/wage for the period of time lost and the military pay (exclusive of travel and similar allowances) earned while at the encampment or training. To receive "makeup pay," each employee will be responsible for furnishing proof of participation in military training and a statement of government pay received. Employees may elect to use paid leave time in lieu of military leave or a combination of paid leave and military leave.


Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), as amended, an employee is entitled to reemployment by Skidmore College upon separation from military service, provided the employee:

  • gave advance written or verbal notice of service;
  • was separated from service with an honorable or qualifying discharge;
  • was employed in a position for which there was an expectation of continued employment;
  • has not been absent for duty in the Uniformed Services for longer than a cumulative period of five years unless involuntarily retained in the Uniformed Service; and
  • reported to work or notified his or her supervisor of an intention to return to work, at the proper time, as indicated in the following table.
Period of Service Action Employee Must Take When Action Must Be Taken from Completion of Service
1–30 days Report to work On the next regular full work day after safe transport back to employee's home
31–180 days Notify his or her supervisor of the employee's intent to return to work Within 14 days after the completion of service
181+ days Notify his or her supervisor of the employee's intent to return to work Within 90 days after the completion of service

An eligible employee will be reinstated to his or her former position and benefits, the position and benefits he/she would have attained if he/she had not been absent due to military service, or in some cases, a comparable position.

Benefit Continuation and Reinstatement

The following benefit policies pertain to periods of military service qualifying under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

  1. Healthcare: The college provides employees with limited health coverage during military leave. For an employee on active duty for fewer than 31 days, the college provides healthcare coverage as if he or she had not taken leave. Those on active duty for 31 or more days may elect to continue employer-sponsored healthcare for themselves and covered dependents up to 24 months while in the military. As with other extended leaves, the college may require employees electing coverage to pay up to 102% of the full premium.

Even if the employee does not elect to continue coverage during military service, the employee has the right to be reinstated in the college's health plan upon reemployment, generally without any waiting period or exclusions (e.g., pre-existing conditions) except for service-connected illnesses or injuries. 

  1. Pension Plan: Upon the employee's return to work, the college will give service credit for pension accrual and contributions to those who go on active duty to the same extent as for similarly situated employees who were not absent on military leave.
  2. College's 403(b) Plan: Employees participating in the college's 403(b) Plan may make up any contributions missed due to being on leave when they return to work. Although the requirements for making retroactive contributions are complex under the controlling law, and we will advise you of your specific rights and obligations upon your reemployment, you should understand that returning employees may take up to three times the length of military service, to a maximum of five years, to make up contributions which were not made during military leave. Moreover, makeup contributions are not subject to the annual limitations on plan contributions.
  3. Other Benefits: The coverage provided by insurance such as group life insurance and long term disability insurance will be reinstated, with no waiting period, when the employee returns to active employment with the college.

    Dependents of employees who are eligible or become eligible for tuition remission benefits and course fee waiver benefits will retain this eligibility during the time the employee is on military leave.

Employees reemployed following military leave will receive seniority and other benefits determined by seniority that the employee had at the beginning of the military leave, plus any additional seniority and benefits the employee would have attained, with reasonable certainty, had the individual remained continuously employed. In addition, an employee's time spent on active military duty will be counted toward their eligibility for FMLA leave once they return to their position.

This policy may not address all issues concerning your rights during military leave. Insofar as issues arise that are not addressed in this policy, the college will abide by USERRA and any controlling state law. Should you have any questions or require further information, please see Human Resources for further information regarding military leave.


Skidmore College EMPLOYEE Policies & Procedures