The State of Minnesota is proud to be a military and veteran friendly employer. The following tabs provide additional information about policies, procedures, laws, and other resources that support our active servicemembers, veterans, and their families.
The Minnesota Statute 43A.183 and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) outline the protections afforded to reservists called into active duty. These rights dictate that it is unlawful for the state to deny initial employment, reemployment, promotion, or any benefit of employment to a person who is obligated to perform in a uniformed service.
If a reservist employed by the State of Minnesota is activated by order of the federal government, that person is required to notify the state, orally or in writing. Valid orders can come in many forms, including written or oral orders issued by a military authority, and therefore the state must accept oral notification that an employee has been activated. The state does not have a "right of refusal" for military leave of absence, except in extreme cases.
Also, employees aren't responsible for finding a replacement, or altering the work schedule - that's the state's responsibility.
Before your active duty starts, you must provide your agency with the name and contact information of your designated power of attorney to act on your behalf in your absence. This individual will receive for you any communications related to state employment. You can use the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney to create a power of attorney.
Employees eligible for a salary differential payment as discussed above must submit all military pay advices to their employer and can do this through the individual acting as their power of attorney.
After your active duty commitment has been completed, you will need to complete the following before returning to work:
While on military leave, you are eligible to continue to accrue vacation and sick leave as if employed. When you return to work, your agency will calculate the additional leave you have accrued and add it to your balances. When you return to work, you may request to use accrued vacation time in accordance with the provisions of your labor agreement or compensation plan.
Use of Accruals
Eligible employees (those with remaining accruals at the time military leave commences) may elect to use accrued vacation time or compensatory time while on active duty.
For employees on an extended military leave, you may not use vacation, comp time, or a floating holiday to extend your leave beyond your last day of active military duty. You will be placed on unpaid leave for the time between your last day of active military duty and when you return to work. The length of transition time between your last day of active military duty and reinstatement depends on the length of your active military duty.
Under the National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 110-181, certain leave provisions have been added to the FMLA.
Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during the fiscal year for “any qualifying exigency” when the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces (including the Reserves and National Guard) in support of a “contingency operation.” Examples of a “qualifying exigency” may include settling legal matters, interviewing child care providers, handling financial matters, seeking assistance for care of elderly parents, and covering household duties that the servicemember had been handling.
An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a servicemember who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember. “Next of kin” means the nearest blood relative of the servicemember.
Such leave is part of, not in addition to, any FMLA leave an employee may be using for other reasons.
Additional information on the amendments, including a workplace poster, can found in the State's FMLA Policy Regarding Military Leave.
Effective August 1, 2006, unless the leave would unduly disrupt the operations of your agency, your agency shall grant you a leave of absence without pay if an immediate family member, as a member of the United States armed forces, has been ordered into active service in support of a war or other national emergency.
Your agency may limit the amount of leave provided to the actual time necessary for you to attend a send-off or homecoming ceremony, not to exceed one day's duration in any calendar year. At your agency's discretion, you may substitute paid accrued vacation or compensatory time off for any or all of the leave period. Immediate family member is defined in the law as your grandparent, parent, legal guardian, sibling, child, grandchild, spouse, fiancé, or fiancée.
See Minnesota Statute 181.948 for more information.
If your immediate family member, as a member of the United Stated armed forces, has been injured or killed while engaged in active service, you will be granted up to 10 working days of unpaid leave. The number of days granted may depend on the specific situation and operation business needs. Immediate family member is defined in this law as a person’s parent, child, grandparents, siblings, or spouse.
At your agency's discretion, you may substitute paid accrued vacation or compensatory time off for any or all of the leave period. You must give as much notice as practicable of the your intent to take this leave. This provision is effective June 2, 2006, and applies to family members injured or killed after this date as well as those family members injured prior to this date.
See Minnesota Statute 181.947 for more information.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 43A.184, a state employee who is a veteran with a service related disability may apply to the employee’s appointing authority for additional sick leave to receive treatment for the disability. The employee must qualify as a veteran under Minnesota Statute 197.447 and have a sick leave balance that is insufficient to receive treatment for the disability.
The appointing authority may authorize up to an additional 40 hours of sick leave for the employee in the current fiscal year. The appointing authority may approve sick leave for an employee under these provisions one time in each fiscal year. Should the absence be Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying, the 40 additional hours will be applied to the FMLA time limits.
A Request for Sick Leave for Veterans with a Service Related Disability Form must be submitted to the agency Human Resource Office.
While on military leave, you may elect to continue or to cancel your health/dental insurance for yourself or your family.
If you choose to continue coverage, you will be charged the whole cost. You may also choose to cancel or continue your life and disability coverage while on military leave. You will be billed directly by Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) for any coverage you continue. If coverage is canceled, it will be reinstated when you have been released from active duty and have returned to work. Coverage will be effective on the day you return to work.
An enrollment form will be generated and sent to your current address in Employee Self-Service/SEMA4 or to your designated power of attorney. If no response is received within 30 days, it will be assumed that you do not wish to continue insurance and coverage will be terminated as of the date the leave began.
You can verify or update your current address online through the Employee Self Service/SEMA4 website.
Employee and Dependent Health and Dental
An employee receives the coverage that the military offers if called for active duty of 30 days or more. State coverage for health and dental will end at the end of the month in which the leave begins. If called to duty for fewer than 31 days, the employee is not eligible for coverage that the military offers. Also, an employee who is called to duty for fewer than 31 days is not required to pay more than the employee share for coverage with his employer. The employe should maintain the employer contribution for that short period of time.
Under the State Employee Group Insurance Plan (SEGIP), employees on military leave may elect to continue single or family coverage, at their own expense, for the duration of the leave. If the employee does not continue coverage, the dependents may elect to continue under COBRA at their own expense, for twenty-four (24) months instead of the previous eighteen (18) months. The 24-month benefit applies only to elections made on or after December 10, 2004. The 24-month period runs from the date the employee’s leave began.
If coverages offered through the State are dropped, all insurance coverage will be reinstated when the employee has been released from active duty and has returned to work. Coverage will be effective on the day the employee returns to work.
NOTE: The coverage offered by the military is through TriCare. Upon reporting for duty, the employee has TriCare Basic which covers everything 100% like an HMO; the family has TriCare Standard which is a policy that pays at 80/20 with a deductible. If the employee is called to active duty for 179 days or more, the employee and family are immediately covered at the better benefit of TriCare Basic. The benefit is the same, whether the employee is called up for Federal or State duty.
Basic/Managers and Optional Life
An employee has the option to maintain or to lapse basic and employee life. If an employee chooses to maintain optional life coverages, the employee may pay the full amount. These coverages can be continued for a total of 18 months. If an employee chooses to lapse optional life coverages, coverage will be reinstated when the employee has been released from active duty and has returned to work without evidence of insurability. If an employee does not return to work, the coverage cannot be continued or waived.
In case of death while on active duty, these policies will only pay off the basic amount of life insurance. The Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) portion would not apply.
NOTE: The following limitation is included in the MN Life Certificate for AD&D only: Benefits shall not be payable if death or other loss results from war, declared or undeclared, or any related accident; travel or flight in or on any species of military aircraft, or participation as a passenger or otherwise in any military aviation or aeronautical operation.
Short Term and Long Term Disability
An employee has the option to maintain or to lapse short or long term disability. An employee can continue any of these coverages by paying the full amount. An employee cannot collect on them while they are on active duty.
If an employee chooses to lapse short or long term disability, coverage will be reinstated when the employee has been released from active duty and has returned to work without evidence of insurability. However, for the first 24 months of long term disability coverage after such a period of leave during which long term disability coverage was discontinued, any such disability coverage shall exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions which occurred, was diagnosed, or for which medical care was received during the period of leave.
NOTE: The following exclusion applies - these Plans do not cover, and no benefit shall be paid for a disability caused or contributed to by war or act of war (declared or not) or sickness contracted or injury sustained as a result of being in the armed forces of any country engaged in war or other armed conflict.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
An employee has the option to maintain or to lapse AD&D coverages. An employee can continue employee AD&D coverage by paying the full amount. An employee can continue spouse AD&D by paying the full amount for that coverage. Benefits are not payable if death/injury occurs while on active duty. If an employee chooses to lapse employee or spouse AD&D coverage, coverage will be reinstated when the employee has been released from active duty and has returned to work.
The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act added special rules for unused Medical and Dental expense Accounts (MDEA) balances for individuals called to active duty called a Qualified Reservist Distribution (QRD).
The HEART Act allows eligible employees to receive a cash distribution of any unused portion of their MDEA balance. Eligible employees must be called to active duty for at least 180 days. Requests for QRDs must be submitted to Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) no later than the last day of the plan year, and a copy of the order or call to active duty must be provided to MMB prior to an authorized distribution of MDEA funds. The distribution is taxable to the employee and is reflected in their W-2 form. The employee must request a QRD on or after the date of the order or call to active duty, and before the last day of the plan year during which the order or call to active duty occurred.
The State of Minnesota will pay eligible employees for the difference between military pay and what the employee would have received if their state employment had not been interrupted by military service.
The payment is calculated by comparing your gross monthly earnings paid by the state against your base pay in active military service. If the State amount is larger than the military base pay amount, the difference between the two will be paid by the State. Use the Worksheet for Computing Pay Difference Between State and Military Base Pay (pdf version) (excel version) to determine if you may qualify for a salary differential payment from the State.
Employees who are eligible for a salary differential payment must submit all military pay advices to their employer in order to receive the payment. You may do this yourself or through your power of attorney. Payments will be processed on a regular pay period basis. The amount of the differential payment will be adjusted accordingly whenever either the military pay or state pay changes.
Additionally, if you are a member of the nonmilitary reserve component of the uniformed services of the U.S. who took properly authorized leave from state employment under substantially comparable federal or state authority ordering you to report for federal or state active service, you may apply for a salary differential.
Examples of the nonmilitary reserve component of the uniformed services include service for the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and any other category of persons designated by the president in time of war or emergency. If you haven't been compensated previously for this pay since May 29th, 2003, you may apply for the salary differential benefits prior to, during, or following your active service on or after May 29, 2003. Payment of the salary differential is not authorized for basic training, advanced individual training, annual training, and periodic inactive duty training.
Military salary differential pay received in calendar year 2009 and beyond is considered wages and will be: