Policy Number: 41
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) will grant military leave to any regular, part time or temporary employee who is called to active duty or training with:
- The Armed Forces of the United States;
- A reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States;
- The Texas Army National Guard;
- The Texas Air National Guard;
- The Texas State Guard; or
- A state or federally-authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team.
The Armed Forces of the United States and the reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States are called to active duty at the order of the President of the United States.
In peacetime, the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard are commanded by the Governor of Texas. When called to active duty during armed conflict, for peacekeeping/humanitarian operations, or in national emergencies, both units of the Guard are commanded by the secretary of the appropriate branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.
The Texas State Guard is commanded by the Governor of Texas.
No employee who is a member of a reserve component of the armed forces, Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or Texas State Guard will be denied retention in employment or promotions or other incidents or advantages of employment because of any obligation as a member of one of these units.
Armed Forces of the United States: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency.
A. Applying for Military Leave
An employee who is requesting military leave should notify his or her immediate supervisor as soon as he or she receives notice of impending military duty. Unless giving notice is precluded by military necessity or is otherwise impossible or unreasonable, a copy of the employee's military orders should be submitted to the employee's supervisor as proof of authorization for the leave as soon as it is available. The copy of the military orders should be retained in the employee's departmental personnel file.
B. Payment During Military Leave
An employee called to active duty or authorized training as a member of the above-defined groups will receive a paid leave of absence of 15 working days in a federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). Employees who exhaust the 15-day period of paid military leave and are called for additional military service will be placed on extended military leave. Employees who are members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, a reserve component of the Armed Forces, or an authorized urban search and rescue team may carry forward unused leave up to a maximum of 45 days from federal fiscal year to federal fiscal year.
Employees who are called by the Governor of Texas to state active duty in the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard or any other active militia or military force organized under Texas law are entitled to unlimited emergency leave with full pay, and without loss of military leave or other annual leave. This unlimited emergency leave does not count against the 15-day allotment of annual paid military leave.
Employees who are members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard who are called to federal active duty to assist civil authorities in a declared emergency or for training specifically related thereto, will receive a paid leave of absence of up to 22 working days in a state fiscal year. This leave does not count against the 15 day allotment of annual paid military leave.
Supervisors are urged to contact Human Resources for questions regarding how to calculate and track military leave.
The university will provide differential pay to an employee on unpaid military leave if the employee's military gross pay is less than the employee’s state gross pay. The combination of differential and military pay may not exceed the employee's actual state gross pay. “Military gross pay” for purposes of calculating the pay differential does not include money the employee receives for service in a combat zone, as hardship pay, or for being separated from the employee’s family. An employee whose military pay is less than his/her gross university pay will receive differential payment through the payroll process. Departments are responsible for submitting a transaction to Payroll using the Extended Military Pay form.
To be entitled to reinstatement under this section, an employee must be:
- discharged, separated or released from active military service under honorable conditions not later than the fifth anniversary of the date of induction, enlistment or call to active military services; and
- physically and mentally qualified to perform the duties of his/her position at the university.
An employee who returns from military service will be reinstated to the same position or to a position of similar seniority, status and pay as the former position. Time limits for returning to work depend upon the duration of a person's military service. In all cases, employees are urged to contact their managers as soon as possible to advise them of their desire to return to work.
Applicable time limits are as follows.
- Employees with military service of less than 31 days must return to work by the first regularly-scheduled work day after the end of military service, after allowing an eight-hour rest period after the employee has returned to his/her residence. If this is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, the return must be as soon as possible.
- Employees with military service of more than 30 and less than 181 days should apply for reemployment to their supervisors no later than 14 days after completing their service. If this is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, the request must be made by the next first full calendar day after it becomes possible to reapply.
- Employees with military service of more than 180 days should apply for reemployment to their supervisors no later than 90 days after completing their service.
- Regardless of time of military service, these reporting or application deadlines are extended for up to two years for employees who are hospitalized for, or convalescing from, an injury or illness incurred in or aggravated during uniformed military service.
If, owing to a disability sustained during military service, an employee is unable to perform his or her former duties but able to perform the duties of a position of like or nearest possible seniority, status and pay, the employee will be reinstated to that similar position.
D. Benefits and Accruals
Before the effective date of unpaid military leave, the employee must contact the Benefits department to arrange to continue his or her group insurance programs; otherwise, this insurance coverage may be cancelled. Benefits representatives will provide further information to employees on insurance and retirement coverage during unpaid military leaves of absence.
Vacation and sick leave will accrue for the duration of the leave and will be credited to the employee's balance when the employee returns to active employment with the university.
The vacation accrual and longevity pay accrual rates will be based on the effective date of employment and will include time spent in the armed forces for military duty.