Skip to main content

Military Leave

Summary of Military Leave:

Military Leave is available for faculty/staff members who need to be absent from work due to service in any of the Armed Services.

Description of Military Leave:

Military Leave is available for faculty/staff members whose service is required in any of the Armed Services including Reserve units; the National Guard; the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service; or any other category of service designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency.  For purposes of this policy, “service” includes active duty, duty for training, inactive duty for training, full-time National Guard duty, and absence to take an examination to determine fitness for any of the foregoing types of duty. 

The cumulative length of a faculty/staff member’s military leave generally may not exceed five (5) years, unless one of the legal exceptions to the five-year limitation applies.

Eligibility for Military Leave:

All full-time and part-time faculty/staff members who have completed one day of regular employment with the University immediately preceding the effective date of a requested military leave, and who have been ordered to report to active duty on a specific date, are eligible for military leave.

How to Apply for Military Leave:

Faculty/Staff shall give advance written notice of the active service, unless such notice is precluded by military necessity.  Such notice should include, when possible, a copy of the signed orders or authorization mandating the absence from work.

If a faculty/staff member is a member of the Military Reserve or National Guard, they may apply for a leave of absence for the prescribed annual training period (approximately two (2) weeks per year), and/or required weekend duty.  Faculty/staff members must advise their department head/supervisor well in advance of the dates they will be required to be absent from work.

Impact on Salary:

If a faculty/staff member returns to work on the first working day after their annual training period or weekend duty is finished, they will receive the difference between their military earnings and their regular straight-time salary (if the former is less), for any time they were regularly scheduled to work.  When faculty/staff members return to work, they must submit proof to the Payroll Office of the military earnings received in order to be compensated for the difference.

All other military leave is unpaid.

Impact on Benefits:

Under certain circumstances, in the case of active duty other than active duty for training, the University will continue the health insurance and other benefits in which a faculty/staff member is enrolled for the first three (3) months of the military leave.

Coverage for eligible faculty/staff and their dependents under the University’s health insurance program in effect on the day before the military leave begins will be continued.  If the period of the leave is less than thirty-one (31) days, the faculty/staff member will be required to contribute his/her regular portion of group health benefit premiums.  If the leave is for thirty-one (31) days or more, the University will continue the faculty/staff member’s current coverage for three (3) months, provided the faculty/staff member pays his/her share of the premiums.  At the beginning of the fourth (4th) month, the faculty/staff member will be offered continued coverage under the provisions of COBRA, for an additional twenty-one (21) months, for a total of twenty-four (24) months of coverage.  Any faculty/staff member who is preparing for a military leave should notify the Human Resources department as soon as possible to discuss the handling of benefits during this time away from work.

For any faculty/staff member who has completed 3 (three) years of service, and is approved for a military leave, the spouse and eligible dependent children will continue to be eligible for tuition remission.

While the faculty/staff member is on an approved military leave, he/she will remain an active participant in the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan.  

In the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan, faculty/staff members will continue to receive credited service while they are on military leave. For additional details, see the appropriate retirement plan Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD), on the Human Resources Website under Benefits/Financial Support/Retirement Benefits. 

See the University’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy for additional information and benefits that may be available to faculty/staff members on military leave. 

Return to Active University Service:

Upon release from active military service under honorable conditions, a faculty/staff member may return to employment with the University, if he/she so desires.  Insofar as it can be arranged, this return will be to the faculty/staff member’s original position or to a position determined by the University to be an equivalent position.

To take advantage of this privilege, the faculty/staff member shall notify his/her department head or supervisor of the return date before the commencement of the leave, if such date is known.  If the return date is not known in advance, then the request to return must be presented as soon as practicable, but in no case later than:

  • The first regularly scheduled work day that would fall eight (8) hours after the faculty/staff member returns home, for a leave of less than thirty-one (31) days in length; or
  • Fourteen (14) days after the completion of service for a leave of thirty-one (31) through one hundred eighty (180) days in length; or
  • Ninety (90) days after the completion of service for a leave longer than one hundred eighty (180) days in length.

Special conditions for requesting return to active employment apply for individuals hospitalized at the time of release from military service.  In this instance, contact Human Resources for guidance.

To ensure that timely consideration can be given with regard to returning the faculty/staff member to employment, it is helpful if the faculty/staff member can indicate his/her intention to return to active University employment prior to the expiration of the military leave of absence.

Villanova University complies with federal and state laws applicable to military leaves.  Click here to read the USERRA regulations, effective January 18, 2006 .