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Frequently Asked Questions - Military Leave

The following questions and answers concerning military leave have been developed to assist State employees who are subject to G.S. 126 and have been called or volunteer for active duty.

Q: Is leave with pay applicable when a reservist or National Guard member is called to active duty?

If the active duty is for training, the employee is entitled to 120 hours of leave with pay per federal fiscal year (September-October).

An employee on leave for other involuntary active duty will receive up to 30 days of pay after which he/she may be eligible for differential pay during the period of active duty.

Q: How is differential pay determined?

Differential pay is the amount paid by the State which is the difference in military basic pay (excluding housing, subsistence allowances, etc.) and State salary (excluding any special pay such as shift premium, etc.) when military pay is less.Upon receipt of military Leave and Earnings Statement or similar document, the employee’s payroll office will calculate any amount due. If the documentation is not provided until the employee returns to work, the differential pay due will be determined at that time.

Q: Does the reservist accrue benefits while on leave for involuntary active duty?

Vacation and sick leave continues to accumulate.Total state service is credited while out, and longevity is paid, if eligible.

Retirement service credit is given if the employee returns to employment after discharge within time frames specified by the Retirement System.

Health insurance coverage with the State will be paid for at least 30 days from the date of active service, after which the employee may choose to continue coverage by paying the full premium.

Q: Does an employee who volunteers for active duty receive the same benefits as those who are called?

No.  An employee does not accumulate leave nor receive longevity pay while on leave without pay for volunteer active duty.Total state service credit is granted upon reinstatement within appropriate time limits, which depends on duration of military service (see next question).

Retirement service credit is given if the employee returns to employment after discharge within time frames specified by the Retirement System.

Health insurance coverage with the State will be paid for at least 30 days from the date of active service, after which the employee may choose to continue coverage by paying the full premium.

Q: Do reservists have to report to their jobs immediately after release from military duty?

The time limit for applying for reemployment or reporting back to work depends upon the duration of uniformed service as follows:

Less than 30 days service, must return at the beginning of the next regularly scheduled work period on the first full day after release from service, taking into account safe travel home plus an 8 hour rest period.

More than 30 days but less than 181 days, must submit a written or verbal application for reemployment with the agency not later than 14 days after the completion of the period of service.

More than 180 days, by submitting an application with the agency not later than 90 days after the completion of the period of service.

Q: Will an employee be reinstated in the same position held prior to military leave?

The employee will be reinstated in the position that would have likely been achieved (escalator position) had he/she remained continuously employed; or if the period of uniformed service was over 90 days, it may be a position of like seniority, status, and pay.

Q: What happens if a reservist is wounded or disabled while on active duty and unable to perform the job after returning?

If the disability is such that the duties of the escalator position cannot be performed, the employee shall be reinstated to a position most nearly comparable, with duties compatible to the disability without loss of seniority.The deadline for reinstatement may be extended for up to two years for employees who are convalescing due to a disability incurred or aggravated during military service.

Q: If the employer makes staff reductions while the reservist is on leave, can the reservist’s job be terminated?

An employer can terminate a reservist’s job but would have to prove that the position would have been terminated regardless of the absence.The burden of proof is on the employer.Otherwise, the employer would have to rehire the returning reservist in a comparable job with comparable pay.