Does an Employee on Leave for Military Service Accrue Leave?
The first type of leave to consider is paid state military leave. Any employee of a community college, school district, or education service center (ESC) who is a member of any of the following is entitled to receive up to 15 days of paid leave per fiscal year for authorized military training or duty ordered or authorized by proper authority:
- The Texas National Guard
- Texas State Guard
- A reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
- A state or federally authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team
An employee on extended military leave is entitled to the 15 days of paid leave for each year he or she is on active duty. This applies even when the absence occurs in multiple fiscal years.
State and Local Leave
School districts are required to provide regular employees with five paid personal leave days per year (Texas Education Code §22.003(a)). State personal leave must be available for use at the beginning of the school year and employees can't be required to earn state leave before they can use it. Individuals employed by the district for the entire school year are entitled to the full five days of state leave whether or not they perform any work during the year. However, if the individual is employed after the year begins or leaves before it ends, his or her state personal leave may be prorated (Tex. Comm’r of Educ. Decision No. 019-R10-1209 (July 2, 2012)).
Thus, an employee on short- or long-term military leave, whether paid or unpaid, is considered to be employed by the district and is entitled to five state personal leave days each year. This applies even when the absence occurs in more than one contract year.
Accrual of local leave in a school district or college, including sick, personal, and vacation depend on the rules outlined in Policy DEC (LOCAL). When policy requires an employee to be in paid status to earn leave, the amount of leave earned should be prorated based on the number of days the employee has worked or is on paid leave in a fiscal year. Each entity would apply the established accrual rate to determine the amount of leave earned.
An employee’s military service counts as time worked for purposes of determining family and medical leave (FML) eligibility. The months and hours the employee would have worked had there not been an interruption for military service must be counted and combined with the months employed and the hours actually worked to meet the eligibility threshold of 12 months employment and 1,250 hours worked (20 C.F.R. §1002.210).
The HR Library includes multiple topics to help you understand the various types of leave including:
- Leave for Military Service | for Community College
- State and Federal Leave | for Community College
- Family and Medical Leave Benefits | for Community College
A sample form to record information for extended military training and deployment is also available.
April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.
Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.
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