Federal law provides broad protection to the job and seniority rights of employees who leave their employment for the purpose of entering the Armed Forces of the United States for extended periods (in excess of six months) of active duty. The period of protection is ordinarily four years from the date of entrance into the armed service, but may be extended to five years if the fifth year of service is required of the individual for the convenience of the government. At present, no protection of law extends beyond five years regardless of the reason for the extension of service.
The principal protection afforded the individual is the right of re-employment in the job he or she left for the purpose of entering the armed service, or in a substantially equivalent job, provided the individual: (a) presents a certificate of satisfactory completion of service, (b) applies for reinstatement within the time limits specified by law, ordinarily 90 days from the date of discharge from the service, and (c) would not have been laid off if employment had not been interrupted by military service.
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.
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 Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day exercise, parade or service in their community of residence on a date that he or she is scheduled to work will be given sufficient time off to do so. If the Veterans’ Day exercise falls on November 11, the employee will be paid holiday time for the period of absence. If the Memorial Day exercise falls on the date that MIT celebrates Memorial Day, the employee will similarly be paid holiday time for that period of absence. Otherwise, the period of absence will be unpaid or, if the employee chooses, paid from any accrued vacation or personal time.
The Institute may deny such a request 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.