GENERAL INFORMATION BULLETIN No. 90-09
[Portions of the information contained herein have been modified by GIB #91-04]
On September 6,1990, Governor Cuomo announced the extension of additional leave and insurance benefits to reservists and National Guard members in the State work force who are activated in connection with the Persian Gulf crisis on or after August 1, 1990.
This memorandum contains a description of the benefits available to those employees, including both the additional benefits recently announced by the Governor and those ordinarily available pursuant to law, rule and regulation. The purpose of this memorandum is to consolidate in one document for ready reference all relevant benefit information which applies to this group.
Since certain benefits described herein are special benefits extended on a one-time basis during the current crisis, agencies should refer to this memorandum only for employees who are federally activated for duty related to the Persian Gulf crisis. An employee federally activated for duty in the Persian Gulf or to replace regular military personnel dispatched to the Persian Gulf would be eligible for the special benefits extended by the Governor and therefore would be covered by this memorandum. On the other hand, reservists on active duty unrelated to the Persian Gulf crisis are not covered by this memorandum.
Further limits on the applicability of various sections of this memorandum are provided at the beginning of each section.
MILITARY LAW ISSUES
Employees of New York State who are being called for active duty in connection with the Persian Gulf crisis are governed by §242 of the New York State Military Law. As in the past, this law provides for military leaves of absence for State employees who are ordered to perform military duty. Eligibility for military leave is not restricted to employees subject to the Attendance Rules.
Any State employee entering active military duty is entitled as a matter of right under the Military Law to a leave of absence from his/her position while engaged in, and while going to and from, military duty. Granting the leave of absence is not a matter within the discretion of the appointing authority.
While all employees, including temporary, provisional and seasonal employees, are entitled to a leave of absence, the leave of absence does not extend their service beyond the time that their service would normally have been terminated for other reasons.
An unclassified or exempt class employee is entitled to a leave provided his/her position is not refilled by permanent appointment. He/she may, however, at the discretion of the appointing authority, be continued on leave and his/her position filled on a temporary basis pending his/her return.
Reservists and National Guard members who are ordered to active duty (with or without the employee's consent) are eligible for military leave for the period covered by the military orders. The military leave commences as of the first day there is a conflict between the employee's work schedule and the military orders, including reasonable travel time, and continues until the day the orders terminate, including reasonable travel time.
Ordinarily employees ordered to military duty are able to provide written orders to their agency well in advance of the leave, but there may be situations where the reservist initially receives only verbal orders to report for military duty.* ln such cases, agencies should grant military leave subject to subsequent verification by receipt of written orders.
Military Leave With Pay (Section 242, New York State Military Law)
Under, §242 of the New York State Military Law, reservists and National Guard members are eligible for paid leave while performing ordered military duty for 30 calendar days or 22 workdays (whichever provides the greater benefit to the employee) in any calendar year and 30 calendar days or 22 workdays (whichever provides the greater benefit to the employee) in any one continuous period of absence. Agencies are required to record military leave under both the calendar day and the workday methods until it is determined which method of calculation provides the greater benefit to the employee.
A reservist holding a part-time, per diem or hourly position who is eligible for military leave with pay should receive the pay during the first 30 calendar days or 22 workdays of such leave that the employee otherwise would have received had the employee been present and worked his/her normal hours during that period.
Reservists who have already used a portion of their 30 calendar
day or 22 workday
ATTENDANCE AND LEAVE ISSUES
Supplemental Military Leave With Pay
At the request of the Governor, the State Civil Service Commission has amended the Attendence Rules to provide that following exhaustion of the paid military leave provided by law, reservists and National Guard members are eligible for supplemental military leave for military duty specifically related to the Persian Guff crisis. There are also Memoranda of Understanding with the unions listed above. The Attendance Rules and the Memoranda of Understanding authorize the granting of supplemental military leave with pay to eligible reservists who have exhausted their military leave with pay entitlement under the Military Law and who have been ordered on or after August 1, 1990 to active military duty (other than for training) related to the Persian Gulf crisis. The amount of supplemental military leave which may be granted cannot exceed a total of 30 calendar days or 22 workdays, whichever provides the greater benefit to the reservist. The earliest date for which supplemental military leave with pay may be granted is August 1, 1990 to employees who had previously exhausted their entitlement to paid military leave under the Military Law. Agencies should make appropriate salary adjustments for eligible employees already on military leave without pay. Employees may receive only one such grant during the period August 1,1990 through March 31,1991; there is no authorization for granting supplemental military leave beyond that period. During the period of supplemental military leave with pay, the employee receives the same attendance and leave benefits, if eligible, as an employee on military leave with pay under the Military Law.
Following exhaustion of military leave with pay entitlement under the Military Law and supplemental military leave with pay under the Attendance Rules and the Memoranda of Understanding, employees are entitled to be placed on military leave without pay. If eligible, they may request use of leave credits other than sick leave subject to the prior approval of the appointing authority. Such requests should ordinarily be approved.
Impact of Military Leave on Accruals
Leave credits earned and unused at the time of placement on military leave without pay are restored upon return to State service. However, credits which would otherwise have expired are not restored (for example, unused personal leave if the personal leave date has passed, vacation in excess of any applicable maximum, holiday leave credits for ASU and OSU which have a one-year expiration, and any floating holiday credit which has a one-year expiration for all units).
An employee on military leave with full pay (pursuant to Military Law or the Attendance Rules), who is covered by the Attendance Rules, earns and accrues leave credits in accordance with the Attendance Rules and is otherwise treated as an employee in full pay status. An employee on military leave without pay does not earn leave credits.
If an employee's personal leave anniversary date falls during a period of military leave with pay, the employee is credited with personal leave on that date. If the employee's personal leave anniversary date falls during a period of military leave without pay, the personal leave anniversary date changes to the date the employee returns to pay status and he/she is credited with personal leave on the revised date.
If an employee's Income Protection Plan sick leave grant date falls during a period of military leave with pay, the employee is credited with sick leave on that date. If the employee's IPP sick leave grant date falls during a period of military leave without pay, the sick leave grant date changes to the date the employee returns to pay status and he/she is credited with sick leave on this revised date.
If an employee's vacation anniversary date falls during a period of military leave with pay, the employee, if eligible, receives bonus vacation days or additional vacation days on that date. Employees who are not on the payroll on their vacation anniversary date because of military leave without pay of six months or less retain their original anniversary date and are credited with bonus days upon their return to the payroll based on their anniversary date. Employees who are not on the payroll on their anniversary date because of military leave without pay in excess of six months also retain their vacation anniversary date; however, they are not credited with vacation bonus days until their anniversary date next occurs following their return to the payroll. The number of vacation bonus days they receive on that date is based on their anniversary date.
Employees on military leave, with or without pay, do not receive credit for holidays which occur during a period of military leave. For employees on military leave with pay, a holiday is counted as a calendar day but not as a workday of the paid military leave entitlement. Employees on military leave with pay are, however, credited with any designated floating holidays which fall during the period of military leave.
Lump Sum Payment
Employees ordered to active duty under Title g of the United States Code may request a lump sum payment for up to 30 days of accrued and unused vacation and 30 days of overtime compensatory leave credits pursuant to §§23.2 and 30.2 of the Attendance Rules.
In order to be eligible, the employee must be on active duty as defined by Title g of the United States Code, as stated in the military orders. Payment cannot be processed until the end of the period of military leave with pay (with or without charge to accruals) and includes payment for credits earned while on military leave with pay. There is no waiting period for processing the payment.
The employee is entitled to only one lump sum payment for all vacation and overtime compensatory time credits earned and accumulated as of the date of the beginning of the leave without pay. (Any credits for which the employee is not paid should be restored to the employee upon return to the payroll from military leave subject to vacation maximum provisions of the negotiated agreements and in the case of overtime compensatory time, Part 135 of the Rules of the Director of the Budget.)
For Further Information
Contact the Employee Relations Section of the Department of Civil Service at (518) 457-2295.
STATE-ADMINISTERED INSURANCE BENEFIT ISSUES
Executive branch employees called to active duty related to the Persian Gulf crisis are entitled to the same State-administered benefits, in most respects; as any other Executive branch employee who is on authorized leave. There are, however, some significant differences as summarized below. Detailed information is being sent to Agency Health Benefits Administrators.
Health Insurance Coverage
An employee with individual coverage under the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) does not need to continue coverage while on military leave. The Federal government will provide health services and the employee would not be eligible for additional benefits from NYSHIP.
Employees on military leave who have Family coverage under NYSHIP will be able to continue their Empire Plan or HMO coverage for their enrolled spouse and other dependents. Regular health insurance deductions will continue while the employee is on the payroll. Family coverage will be provided at no cost to the enrollee for up to 12 months from the beginning of ordered military duty. This 12-month period is decreased by the time spent in full pay status.
Families with coverage under the Dual Eligibility Family Benefit (DEFB) may continue DEFB coverage provided they otherwise meet the requirements. They may continue DEF13 coverage regardless of whether the employee on military leave is covered as the enrollee or the dependent.
Employees covered by a union prescription drug program should call their Employee Benefit Fund for information.
Dental Insurance Coverage
Coverage will be automatically discontinued for the duration of the military leave. The Federal government will provide dental services.
Employees who have Family coverage will be able to continue Dental coverage under the State Program for their enrolled spouse and other eligible dependents during military leave. Family coverage will be provided at no cost to the enrollee for up to 12 months from the beginning of ordered military duty. This 12-month period is decreased by the time spent in full pay status.
Employees covered under a union dental program should call their Employee Benefit Fund for Information.
M/C Life Insurance and Accident & Sickness Insurance
Employees who are covered under the M/C Life Insurance Program may continue coverage while on military leave by paying premiums directly once they leave the payroll. Agencies should provide employees with remittance forms and premium information. The Personal and Dependent Life Insurance benefit does not change. However, the Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit is not payable for death or any other loss caused or contributed to by war or any act of war or aggression.
Coverage will continue through the end of the period paid for by the employee's last deduction. This coverage may not be continued while on military leave without pay and thus there will be no premium for this coverage.
Employees who have Life insurance coverage through a union program should call their Employee Benefit Fund for Information.
Vision Care Coverage
Vision Care coverage under the State Program will automatically continue for the employee's enrolled spouse and other eligible dependents for up to 12 months from the beginning of ordered military duty. This 12-month period is decreased by the time spent in full pay status.
Employees covered under a union program should call their Employee Benefit Fund for information.
M/C and DC-37 Income Protection Programs
Coverage under the M/C and DC-37 Income Protection programs continues provided the length of the military leave is one year or less. Benefits are payable as explained in the IPP Benefits Book. However, no benefits are available for disabilities that result from war or warlike action in time of peace.
After Military Leave
Whether employees continued or dropped benefit coverage during the period of military leave, they must contact their Agency Health Benefits Administrator when their leave ends to reinstate coverage. For employees who vest, retire, or continue on leave without pay, the agency should explain available benefits as described in the memorandum to Health Benefits Administrators.
Continuation of Coverage
Employees and their enrolled dependents who lose eligibility for group coverage may have rights to continue coverage under Federal law (COBRA). For example, an employee who does not return to the payroll after military leave may have individual or dependent COBRA rights.
For Further Information
Questions on benefits should be referred to the Agency Health Benefits Administrator. The Agency Benefits Administrator may contact the Division of Employee Benefits for further information.
PERSONNEL STATUS ISSUES
State employees who are on leave of absence for military duty pursuant to §242 of the Military Law are treated the same, in most respects, as any other employee who is on authorized leave, i.e., generally there is no change in their appointment status or eligibility for appointment.
The requirement that employees be given a leave of absence under
the Military Law does not, however, provide any right to a position
beyond that which is currently provided for in law or rule. For
example, provisional employees on military leave would still be
The time spent on military leave pursuant to §242 of the Military Law is treated for purposes of probation like any other absence under Rule 4.5(f) of the Civil Service Law. Agencies have the discretion to count certain periods of absence (as specified in the Rule) as time served, and the authority to extend probationary periods as required.
Employees on Eligible Lists
Employees on military leave whose names appear on eligible lists or reemployment lists may, at the discretion of the appointing authority, be appointed while on leave. However, since employees who fail to reply to a canvass will have their names removed, it may be advisable for them to request inactive status. Employees returning from military leave should be informed that they can request to have their names reactivated on any existing eligible lists. Employees on military leave pursuant to §242 of the Military Law are not eligible for special military list status if their score is reached for appointment while on military leave.
Time spent on military leave pursuant to §242 is creditable as time served in a position for purposes of qualifying for admission to future promotion examinations.
Employees who have already filed for examinations but who will be unable to take the examinations on the scheduled date because of military leave must notify the Department of Civil Service that they wish an alternate test date. Upon their return from military leave, such employees must again contact the Department in order to have their alternate date scheduled. They can call or write: Special Arrangements Unit, NYS Department of Civil Service, Albany NY 12239, (518) 457-3416.
Employees absent on military leave pursuant to §242 of the Military Law are NOT eligible for special military list status. However, upon their return employees may request that they be allowed to take examinations held while they were on military leave for which they would have been qualified. If successful they will have their names added to existing lists in score order. Agencies should help employees identify which examinations have been held in their absence, and contact the appropriate Staffing Services Section. Employees must make their requests to the Department of Civil Service within 30 days of their reinstatement from military leave.
Abolition of Positions and Layoffs
Employees who are on military leave can be affected by layoffs in the same manner as employees who are serving in a position. Time spent on military leave pursuant to §242 is creditable towards the seniority of permanent employees.
Payroll Processing / Procedures
PR-75s for employees being placed on military leave of absence
should be processed the same as for any other leave except that
the words "Military Leave, §242" must appear in
There is no specific payroll processing code for the "substitute appointments" mentioned in the Military Law. Agencies may fill positions left temporarily vacant by employees on military leave using the policies and procedures normally applied.
Reinstatement From Military Leave
Employees should be told that.their military leave of absence ends at thetermination of their ordered military duty, including reasonable travel time. Employees returning from a military leave of absence must be immediately reinstated.
For Further Information
Contact your, Staffing Services Representative.
Questions concerning implementation of relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreements should be reviewed with your GOER liaison upon the employee's return from military leave.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ISSUES
M/C employees who are on leave with or without pay on their performance evaluation date but who have 6 or more pay periods of creditable service during the rating period will be evaluated on that date. Any salary increase resulting from the evaluation is paid upon the employee's return to the payroll. Lump sum payments of performance awards or merit payments are payable if the employee returns to the payroll within one year of the evaluation date.
Employees covered by agreements between the State and CSEA, PEF, Council 82, and DC-37 who are in less than regular full pay status for one pay period or more during the evaluation period will have their evaluation period and date of evaluation extended by the equivalent number of full pay period units. It is suggested that agencies consult the New York State Performance Evaluation Administrators' Manual and appropriate provisions of the collective bargaining agreements for answers to specific entitlement situations.
Questions may be referred to Lori Zwicker of the Governor's Office of Employee Relations at (518) 473-3939.
In general, employees on military leave with pay are treated as any other employee on leave with pay for compensation purposes. Employees on military leave without pay retain all salary rights which are applied upon their return. For further information please contact the Office of the State Comptroller. Questions concerning salary reconstruction should be directed to Gary Mazula at (518) 486-3088. Questions on other compensation issues should be directed to Tom Mazzaferro at (518) 474-5446.
RETIREMENT SYSTEM ISSUES
On August 30, 1990 John Mauhs, Deputy Comptroller of the Employees' Retirement System, issued a communication to State agencies regarding retirement service credit for military duty. In accordance with that communication, retirement system members who are called to active duty may direct questions about their rights and status to Peter Buckley, Director of Member Services at (518) 474-4608. Members should be advised to notify the Retirement System immediately upon their release from active duty in order to protect their rights as a Retirement System member.