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Military Leave

As many of you know, there has been an issue for some time now with the law that governs paid time off for armed forces related leave and maintaining seniority and the accrual of paid sick, personal and vacation time during such leave. 

The current law states that paid leave would be provided “not exceeding 34 days in any state fiscal year and not exceeding 17 days in any federal fiscal year.”

The good news is you don’t have to spend any time trying to figure out what the above language means because we were able to fix it and expand the benefit. 

As you may recall, attempts to correct this problem at the bargaining table and in the 2015-2016 legislative session were unsuccessful. So at the start of the current 2017-2018 session, Council 93 turned to a legislator who would understand the problem and appreciate the need to fix it. We approached State Rep. Hank Naughton, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and currently serves as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. 

Rep. Naughton filed legislation at our request and we are happy to report our bill was recently passed as part of a broader bill entitled: An Act Relative to Veterans’ Benefits, Rights, Appreciation, Validation and Enforcement. 

The new law will be effective on November 8th, 2018.  It removes the confusing state/federal fiscal year language and expands the paid leave to 40 days annually. It also maintains the requirement that such employees shall “not lose any seniority or any accrued vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, compensation time or earned overtime.”

We thank our members who brought this issue to our attention and we thank Rep. Naughton for working with us to clarify and expand this important benefit.

In Solidarity,

Mark Bernard

Special Assistant to the Executive Director

AFSCME Council 93