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.
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.
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. You may qualify for a salary differential payment from the State. 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. Contact your agency for specific information on this benefit.
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.
Taxes, Deductions and Reporting
Military salary differential pay received in calendar year 2009 and beyond is considered wages and will be:
- Reported on Form W-2 rather than Form 1099 as in past years.
- Subject to Federal tax withholding.
- Subject to State tax withholding.
- Subject to retirement.
- Subject to other deductions, including parking, union, charity, savings plans (deferred compensation/TSA) unless you submit a request to the appropriate office(s) to end the deduction before the military differential is processed for payment.
- Excluded from FICA/Medicare taxation.
You will be placed on a Leave of Absence.
While on Leave of Absence, you will continue to accrue state and class seniority.
Vacation and Sick Leave Accruals
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.
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 & Budget 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. Click here for more info on insurance coverage while on military leave. If you need more information, please contact your agency's HR/Payroll office for assistance.
An enrollment form will be generated and sent to your current address in 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 web site, http://www.state.mn.us/employee.
Power of Attorney for Employees Called to Active Military Service
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 this short form for power of attorney designations: http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/523/23.html.
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
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.
Other items to note:
* Automatic pay increases are granted on the same time schedule regardless of military leave status.
* If you are not serving a probationary period, your state and class seniority, as well as eligibility for vacation and sick time accruals, continue to increase regardless of the type of military leave granted. You will suffer no penalties in these areas because of military leaves.
* If you are serving a probationary period and are going to be out on a military leave longer than 10 days, your agency can extend your probationary period to account for the time away from work. However, once you pass the probationary period, your agency will retroactively adjust for delayed pay increases to account for any losses due to your time on military leave status.
What do you need to do to return to work after your active duty has been completed?
* Contact your agency's HR office to let them know the date you plan to return to work.
* If you are terminating the designated power of attorney while you were on active duty, please let your HR offices staff know to update your files and your SEMA4 record.