The Catholic University of America

Leave of Absence for Members of the Military

 

Approved by: The President and his Council
History: Issued --June 1, 1994
  Revised --Jan. 20, 2006
  Additional History
Related Policies:  
Additional References: OGC Web Page on USERRA; Your Rights Under USERRA
Responsible Official: Associate VP/Chief Human Resources Officer tel.  202-319-5050
 

 

 

I.Introduction

Regular full-time and part-time university employees whose military obligations interrupt or interfere with their employment have certain job protection provided by the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. The Act protects members of National Guard units, reservists, inductees and enlistees into the Armed Forces who volunteer for or are ordered to active duty for the Federal government.

II. Notification to HR

Employees called to active duty must notify the Office of Human Resources in writing of their departure and provide a copy of official military orders when they become available.

III. Continuation of Benefits
For faculty and staff employees, active duty will be treated as leave of absence without pay. Such leave may not exceed five years in duration. During the approved unpaid leave of absence, an employee called to active duty may continue to have health insurance, long-term disability insurance and life insurance if he or she pays the full cost of the benefit. While the employee is on an unpaid leave, the university will not contribute to the premiums except where the absence is less than 30 days. If an employee called to active duty wishes to continue his or her health insurance, life insurance or long-term disability insurance, the employee must make payment arrangements with the Office of Human Resources at the start of his or her leave of absence. Likewise, employees returning from active military duty are entitled to available benefits upon reemployment.

If an employee called to active duty during a national emergency has a spouse or dependent child who is eligible for tuition assistance and meets the requirements of the CUA policy on tuition assistance, that benefit will remain in effect while the employee is on active military duty. All provisions of the tuition assistance policy will apply.

Upon reemployment following a call up to active duty, employees who are participants in the university's retirement plan at the time they are called for active duty, will be considered as not having a break in service for purposes of the retirement plan. There will be no requirement to requalify for participation in the retirement plan upon reemployment. In addition, upon reemployment, the university will make any plan contributions that it would have made if the employee had not been on a leave of absence for active military service. However, the university will contribute no interest or earnings to the employee's retirement account. Plan participants returning to employment are also provided an opportunity under federal law to make certain retroactive voluntary contributions that they could have made had they not been on military leave, and the university will match such contributions consistent with the retirement plan.

Vacation for professional employees will be reduced pro rata to reflect the leave of absence.

IV. Reemployment Rights and Responsibilities

Regular employees called to active duty who are released from active duty with an honorable discharge are entitled to be restored to their former positions or to positions of like seniority, status and pay on the same terms and conditions as if their employment had not been interrupted.

Employees called to active duty who, upon release, have a service-related disability, making them no longer qualified, with reasonable accommodations, to perform the duties of the position and for whom job restructuring is not feasible, who, nevertheless, are qualified with reasonable accommodations for an alternative position, will be offered the alternative position. If an employee called to active duty requests reemployment in an alternative position, he or she must be employed in a position that provides seniority, status and pay, as similar as possible to the former position.

Employees ordered to active duty for more than ninety (90) days must apply for reemployment within ninety (90) days of their release from active duty. Employees ordered to active duty for ninety (90) days or less must apply for reemployment within thirty-one (31) days of their release from active duty.