Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Human Resources


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Military Leave of Absence Policy for Faculty Staff

SLT 4.5

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures

Policy Statement

Grand Valley State University faculty and staff members in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard, or other “uniformed services” who are called to active duty will be granted an unpaid leave of absence and reinstatement privileges as prescribed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

“Uniformed services” includes: active duty, active duty for training, active duty for special work, weekend or weekday drill, funeral honors, or fitness for duty examination (whether voluntary or involuntary). 


Military leave is available to all full and part-time faculty and staff of the University, including probationary staff members.

A. Military Duty Pay

A regular faculty or staff member who loses time from work during their regular schedule of hours because of military training as a reservist or National Guardsman or due to a civil disturbance, not exceeding four (4) weeks per year, shall be paid the difference between their base military pay and their regular pay. Adjunct faculty and temporary staff members are not eligible for military duty pay.

B. Benefits

The University will continue to provide health insurance for benefit eligible faculty and staff members, as well as their enrolled dependents, who are on duty less than thirty (30) days. Faculty and staff members serving for more than thirty 30 days may elect to continue health insurance coverage for themselves and any enrolled dependents through COBRA.

C. Leave Period

Faculty and staff members are entitled to an unpaid military leave of absence, with reemployment rights, for a period up to five years. The five years is a cumulative total and includes both past and present military service. Military leave for adjunct faculty and temporary staff will not extend beyond the appointment end date. 

D. Reinstatement Requirements

Regular faculty and staff members have the right to be reemployed at the University following a military leave of absence as long they meet the following reinstatement requirements.

  1. The faculty or staff member ensures that Human Resources or the applicable appointing officer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service.
  2. The faculty or staff member has five (5) years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while employed at the University. 
  3. The faculty or staff member returns to work or applies for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service, and
  4. The faculty or staff member has not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions.

Military leaves of absences for temporary staff and adjunct faculty will not extend beyond the appointment end date.

If eligible to be reemployed, a faculty or staff member has the right to be restored to the job and benefits they would have attained if they had not been absent due to military service or, in some cases, a comparable job. The faculty or staff member’s seniority would also be restored to the level they would have attained if they have been on duty at the University continuously.

Questions and Policy Interpretation

The Human Resources Office is responsible for implementing and coordinating the provisions of the Military Leave of Absence Policy for the University. Questions may be directed to the Human Resources Office at (616) 331-2215.

If there are any conflicts between the University policy and provisions of the Federal Act, the provisions of the Federal Act will supersede, with the exception of situations where the University policy, handbooks or bargaining agreements provide benefits greater than the act. The Federal Act and the Federal regulations will be used to resolve issues that arise.