Start typing and press Enter to search

[Real Life HR] Employee out on Military Leave

[Real Life HR] Employee out on Military Leave

Q: How do we handle pay for an employee out on military leave?

A: Employees on military leave are due the same rights and benefits (when not determined by seniority) as nonmilitary employees who take any comparable form of leave. Comparable is not well defined, but generally, you should look to other leaves of a similar duration. For instance, if you’d generally pay someone for one to five days of jury service leave, or up to a week of bereavement leave, you’d want to also pay for a military leave of that approximate duration. If you provide longer paid leaves, e.g., a four- to eight-week family wellness leave, then you should consider paying for a military leave of that approximate duration as well. If you aren’t sure whether the other leaves you offer are comparable and you are considering not paying for a military leave, we recommend speaking with an attorney.

If there are no comparable paid leaves, then nonexempt employees would not need to be paid for military leave. Exempt employee pay requirements will depend on the duration of the leave and when it falls in the workweek (see below).

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employers cannot require employees on military leave to use their paid time off benefits during absences. However, employees can voluntarily elect to use paid time off to cover absences.

Exempt Employees

Employers may not reduce an exempt employee’s salary for partial week absences for military leave per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). If they work any part of the workweek in which they are absent for military leave, then they must be paid for the entire week. If an exempt employee does no work at all during the week, then they would not need to be paid, unless you would pay for a comparable leave. However, you can reduce an exempt employee’s salary by any payment they receive for their military service during the workweek when they are absent.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

 Looking for help with your HR questions? Work with a Certified HR Consultant today.
 Content provided by Ahola's HR Support Center

Reply a Comment



This blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and cannot constitute legal advice, because the authors are not licensed attorneys. Readers should not rely or act upon any information presented on this blog without seeking professional legal counsel. The views expressed in each post are those of the author, and the author alone; they are not the views of Ahola. The information provided in this blog is general, and based on information available as of the date of publishing. Information herein is provided on an “as is” or “as available” basis; we make no warranty of any kind to you regarding the information provided and disclaim any liability for damages from use of the blog or its content. Please consult an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular question or issue.