Military Leave of Absence

Are you a military worker who’s having issues getting military leave you’re eligible for? Has your employer denied you the right to military leave? Do you feel you have been improperly reinstated after your leave, or you sense you are being retaliated against for taking a leave of absence? Whatever the case, the employment and military leave specialist at Matt Scott Law Firm are ready to serve your needs.

According to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) the employment of all workers who take military leave is protected. This usually applies when a worker is in the National Guard or Reserves and is called to duty. Listed below is information regarding this law that may help you decide if your rights have been violated.

fmla-and-military-leave-for-familiesGeneral Length of time of military leave:

An employee has the right to reemployment if the cumulative leave is five years or less. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as where an initial enlistment lasts more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions, or recalls.

Health Insurance and Pension Plans:

If an employee’s leave of absence is less than 31 days, the employer must continue health coverage as though the employee was not on a leave of absence. If the leave is more than 30 days, the employee may choose to continue health coverage. However, the employee may be required to pay premiums.  Regardless of length of military leave, all pension plans are protected.

Seniority while on leave:

If an employee returning from military leave is not qualified to perform a heightened position, the employer must provide training to make the employee qualified. If the employee remains unqualified, the employer must offer an alternative position.

Vacation or Annual leave:

Service members have the right to use their accrued vacation or annual leave while on a leave of absence from military duty.

Military leave for the injured:

If an employee is injured on military leave, the employer must make reasonable accommodation for the disability. In addition, service members recovering from injuries received in training or active duty may receive an additional two years from the date of completion of services to choose to be reinstated.

When Military Leave Ends:

If the military service was for less than 31 days, the service member must return at the beginning of the next regularly scheduled work period the first full day after release from service. If the military service was more than 30 days but less than 181 days, the service member must submit an application for reemployment with in 14 days of release from service. For service of more than 180 days, the service member must submit an application for reemployment within 90 days of release from service.

Notification of upcoming leave:

It is the responsibility of the service member to provide advance notice to their employers of their need for a leave of absence. The notice can be written or verbal, with the exception that giving notice is impossible or unreasonable. In some situations, giving notice may be hindered by military necessity.  Notice should be given as far in advance as possible.


It is not uncommon for employers to retaliate against an employee after returning from leave. This is unlawful and your rights are being violated. At this point it is in your best interest to seek legal advice. Don’t let your employer violate your rights to military leave, call the Matt Scott Law Firm today to speak to an experienced military employment lawyer, who is ready to fight for your rights, and get the results you deserve.