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Employee out on military leave: Must we pay him?

by on
in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee who will soon go on temporary military duty and be gone for several weeks. Do we have to pay him at all during his absence, or does he receive military pay? — L.J., Nevada

A. Leave covered under the federal military-leave law, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), is unpaid. You are required to give the employee time off, but you don’t have to pay him—at least under federal law.

Many companies, however, do have policies providing for pay when military leave is for short periods of time or they allow employees to use accumulated vacation or personal time. Your policy might provide for full pay, or might replace the difference between military pay and the employee’s regular salary.

If an employee is missing just a few days during a week for military training, take note: If he or she is an exempt employee, you must pay the employee’s full weekly salary for any workweek in which the employee performs any work
on your behalf.

Final tip: Check your state’s law on military leave. Some states provide greater protection than the federal law provides. Find a list of state laws at www.roa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=state_laws.

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