This template will provide a comprehensive framework for HR professionals to create a military leave policy that complies with federal and state laws. It will also ensure consistency in granting military leave across different departments and locations within an organization. Additionally, it will serve as a reference point for managers and supervisors to understand their responsibilities when dealing with military leaves.
What is a military leave policy?
A policy that outlines the guidelines for employees who need to take time off from work to fulfill their military obligations. The policy aims to support employees who serve in the military, while also ensuring compliance with federal and state laws. It covers various types of military leave, including paid and unpaid leave, as well as the procedures for requesting and approving such leave. The policy also addresses how pay and benefits will be handled during military leave, as well as reinstatement rights and confidentiality requirements.
The goal of the policy is to create a supportive environment for employees who are serving their country, while also ensuring that their employment rights are protected.
Military leave is not compensated. The federal policy for military leave does not mandate employers to provide wages to employees during their military absence. Nonetheless, employers must hold the employee’s position and ensure their pay, benefits, and relevant seniority are reinstated when the employee returns from military leave.
A military leave policy should include the following elements:
- Eligibility criteria for military leave
- Types of military leave available
- Procedures for requesting and approving military leave
- Pay and benefits during military leave
- Reinstatement rights after military leave
- Confidentiality and non-discrimination provisions
Step-by-step instructions on how to write a military leave policy
1. Review relevant laws and regulations: Familiarize yourself with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and any applicable state laws regarding military leave.
2. Determine eligibility criteria: Decide which categories of employees are eligible for military leave, such as active duty members, reservists, or National Guard members. You may also want to consider including volunteer service members or those serving in a military academy.
3. Define types of military leave: Identify the various types of military leave that employees may take, such as basic training, annual training, active duty, or family support. You can also include provisions for emergency leave or bereavement leave related to military service.
4. Establish procedures for requesting and approving military leave: Outline the steps employees must follow to request military leave, including providing adequate notice and documentation. Specify who is responsible for approving military leave requests and how decisions will be communicated to employees.
5. Address pay and benefits during military leave: Indicate whether employees will receive full or partial pay during their military leave, and if so, how it will be calculated. Additionally, specify whether employees will continue to accrue benefits, such as health insurance or paid time off, while on military leave.
6. Clarify reinstatement rights: Explain the circumstances under which an employee will be reinstated to their previous position after returning from military leave, including any limitations or exceptions.
7. Include confidentiality and non-discrimination provisions: Ensure that employees’ personal information related to military service remains confidential, and prohibit discrimination against employees based on their military status.
8. Review and revise the policy as needed: Periodically review your organization’s military leave policy to ensure it stays up-to-date with changing laws and regulations. Make revisions as necessary to reflect new requirements or best practices.
Military leave policy template
Brief & purpose
[Organization Name] recognizes the importance of supporting our employees who serve in the military. This policy outlines the guidelines for military leave, ensuring compliance with federal and state laws while also promoting a supportive work environment for our employees.
The following categories of employees are eligible for military leave:
- Active duty members of the US Armed Forces
- Members of the Reserves or National Guard called to active duty
- Volunteer service members participating in training exercises or mobilized for active duty
- Employees serving in a military academy
Types of military leave
Employees may take the following types of military leave:
- Basic Training: Up to 12 weeks of paid leave for initial military training
- Annual Training: Up to 2 weeks of paid leave for annual military drills
- Active Duty: Up to 6 months of paid leave for active duty service
- Family Support: Up to 2 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition related to military service
- Emergency Leave: Up to 3 days of paid leave in case of a military emergency or death in the employee’s immediate family
- Bereavement Leave: Up to 5 days of paid leave for mourning the loss of an immediate family member due to military service
Procedures for requesting and approving military leave
- Provide written notice to your supervisor at least 30 calendar days before starting military leave, unless such notice is impossible due to military requirements or urgent circumstances.
- Submit documentation supporting your military orders or service obligations.
- Receive approval from your supervisor and HR representative.
- Ensure that your work responsibilities are transferred or covered during your absence.
Upon returning from military leave, employees will be reinstated to their previous position provided they meet the following conditions:
- They have been honorably discharged or released from military duty
- They have not exceeded the maximum period of military leave (generally 5 years)
- They apply for reemployment within the applicable time frame (generally 90 days)
Confidentiality and non-discrimination provisions
Personal information related to an employee’s military service will remain confidential.
[Organization Name] prohibits discrimination against employees based on their military status, including hiring, promotion, or disciplinary actions.
I acknowledge that I have read and understood [Organization Name]’s Military Leave Policy. I understand that this policy supersedes any conflicting provisions in my employment contract or agreement.
Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.