Military Leave of Absence

A. Introduction

Harvard grants leaves of absence and extends reemployment rights to employees who engage in military service, in accordance with applicable law. Because many circumstances and specific provisions that are not listed here can affect the interpretation of an individual case, the local human resource office and/or the Office of Labor and Employee Relations should be consulted about the University's policy and obligations. If an employee enlists or is called to active military duty or training, he or she should notify his or her human resources officer immediately.

Employees who are activated into military service will receive job and benefit protections mandated by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994. This law strengthened previous legislation prohibiting employment discrimination and protecting the rights of employees who leave civilian jobs for military service and includes protection for up to five years beyond the date of service activation.

Subject to the conditions listed below, employees who are inducted or who enlist in the Armed Forces of the United States or who are reservists or national guardspersons called to active duty or training are eligible for reemployment rights.

B. Supplemental Pay

Harvard will pay the difference between an eligible employee’s base military pay and his or her base University salary for up to 90 days of military service per year. Extensions for salary supplement beyond 90 days may be requested. The employee must submit his/her military leave and earnings statement to receive such pay. The employee may (but is not required to) use any accrued vacation or personal days during any part of the leave that would otherwise be unpaid.

C. Reemployment

A former employee returning from military service who satisfies the following requirements will be restored to their former position or one of like seniority, status and pay provided he/she applies for reemployment within the applicable statutory time frame (which ranges from one to 90 days after completing military duty, depending on the length of military service):

  • The former employee left his or her position to enter active military training and service, active duty for training or inactive duty training in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
  • The former employee is still qualified or able to become re-qualified to perform the duties of their former position.
  • Circumstances have not changed so as to make it impossible or unreasonable to rehire the former employee.
  • The cumulative length of the employee’s absence for military duty does not exceed five years.

Additional conditions are applicable to certain servicepersons; consult with the local human resources office or the Office of Labor and Employee Relations (617-495-2786) for details.

Individuals so restored cannot be terminated from employment without cause for one year after initial reemployment if his/her period of military service was 181 days or more. Individuals whose employment is restored after a period of military service of 31 to 180 days cannot be terminated from employment without cause for 180 days after initial reemployment.

If, due to disability sustained during service, the former employee is not qualified or not able to become re-qualified to assume their former position or a position similar to it, but is qualified to fill any other position, he/she will be given another position that he/she is qualified to perform, most like his/her prior position in status and pay. Posting the position in such circumstances may be waived with the approval of the Assistant Director of Recruitment Services.

Annual Military Reserve Training

Military Tuition Assistance Program

University Service

Last updated: 10/09/2019