4.6 Military Leaves

This policy was last updated May 10, 2024. See the update history page for more information.

Employees who serve in the United States Armed Services are entitled to certain paid and unpaid leaves and benefits as detailed below.  These include:

  • Military Training Duty Leave
  • Other Active Duty Leave
  • Time Off for Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day
  • Job Protection for Training and Service in the Uniformed Services 

In addition, employees with family members who are currently or were formerly in the Armed Services may be eligible for partially paid leaves for certain Qualifying Exigencies or to care for the injured service member. Section 4.4.3. 

4.6.1 Military Training Duty Leave

Employees who participate in annual military training duty as members of the Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard are granted a military pay differential for a period of up to 20 working days annually.

The pay differential is the amount, if any, by which the employee's normal Institute base pay for the period exceeds any military pay received for the same period. Military pay for these purposes is defined as basic pay, the basic allowance for subsistence, and the basic allowance for housing. Employees may not receive vacation pay and military pay differential for the same period. Any period of time spent in military training in excess of 20 working days annually must be taken as vacation time or as leave without pay.

Upon return from military training duty, employees submit to their supervisors a copy of their original duty orders and a certified statement of their military pay and allowances for the training period. Any adjustments in salary will be reflected in a subsequent paycheck, after these documents are forwarded to the HR/Payroll Office.

4.6.2 Other Active Duty Leave

Employees who serve as members of Armed Forces Reserves, National Guard, or Civil Defense units who are called to active duty are eligible for the pay differential set forth in Section 4.6.1. This pay differential is capped at 260 working days in a 12-month period, and no more than 650 working days in total while employed at the Institute.

Time spent in annual Military Training Duty Leave (Section 4.6.1) does not count toward the limits for Active Duty Leave.

Time with pay differential beyond the capped limits may be granted upon written request by the DLC and approved jointly by the Vice President of Human Resources and the Vice President of Research or the Dean of the School or College. Additional time without the pay differential may be taken as a leave without pay, subject to the approval process described in Section Approval of Voluntary Leave Without Pay.

4.6.3 Time Off for Memorial Day and Veterans' Day

Memorial Day: Any employee who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces (including certain full-time National Guard service), and who wishes to participate in a Memorial Day exercise, parade or service in their community of residence on a date that they are scheduled to work will be given sufficient time off to do so.

Veterans’ Day: Any employee who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces (including certain full-time National Guard service) and who is scheduled to work on Veteran’s Day will be granted time off to observe Veterans’ Day, upon request.

The Institute may, however, deny a request for time off for Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day if the employee’s services are essential and critical to the public health or safety and are determined by the Institute to be essential to the safety and security of MIT and its property.

Any approved time off will be unpaid unless the time off falls on an MIT observed holiday or the employee uses accrued vacation time, in accordance with the usual practices of the department, lab, or center. Paid time off for Memorial Day or Veterans’ Day does not count toward the cap set forth in Section 4.6.2 Other Active Duty Leave.

4.6.4 Job Protection for Training and Service in the Uniformed Services

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides broad protection to the job and seniority rights of employees who leave their employment for certain periods of federal military service or training, or deployment as a civilian reservist under FEMA to major disaster sites. The period of protection is ordinarily five years from the date of entrance into the uniformed service, but may be extended in certain limited circumstances. Service members are permitted to use any accrued vacation leave during a qualifying USERRA leave, but are not required to do so.

The principal protection afforded the individual is the right of re-employment in the "escalator position," which is the job the individual would have attained had they not been absent for military service or training.  The service member may be placed in an alternative position if they cannot qualify for the "escalator position" with appropriate training. 

To apply for reemployment, the individual typically must (a) submit a timely application for reemployment (the time periods are based on the amount of time spent on leave), (b) demonstrate that they have not exceeded the five-year service limitation (or that they are entitled to longer periods of leave), and (c) demonstrate that the reason for separation from service was not dishonorable or otherwise disqualifying. MIT may request additional documentation as allowed by federal law. 

Determinations of the terms and conditions of re-employment (rate of pay, seniority status where appropriate, length of service for benefits eligibility purposes, etc.) is a complex matter and will be discussed with the supervisor by the appropriate Human Resources Officer on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the individual must be treated as having been on leave of absence and given credit for military service time in computing service for seniority and benefit plan purposes.