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Military Leave and Memorial Day

The official kick-off to summer is here … Happy Memorial Day!

Many of you are likely planning a camping trip, hosting a BBQ, or attending an outdoor event in some capacity. And we’re certain all of you will take a minute to thank our active duty and veteran servicemen and women.

Here at Optis, we’ll be using the three-day weekend to ponder absence management. Yes, it’s true. Memorial Day has us considering the ins-and-outs of managing Military Leave and has left us wondering, “How much does the average leave specialist really know about protected service member absences?”

Thankfully, the DOL has published an Employer’s Guide to Military Leave to help us all out. It runs down the who, what, why, how, (and huh?), to help HR teams stay in-the-know when it comes to managing absence related to service. It’s a great resource to help you understand the basic military absence provisions: Qualifying Exigency Leave and Military Caregiver Leave.

  • Qualifying Exigency Leave: If an employee’s spouse, parent, son or daughter is a military member who is deployed or has been notified of an impending deployment to a foreign country, and you work for a covered employer and are an eligible employee, they may be entitled to qualifying exigency leave. Qualifying exigency leave allows employees to take up to a total of 12 workweeks of FMLA leave for qualifying exigencies, such as making different day care arrangements for the military member’s children or attending official military ceremonies as your family member prepares to deploy. Source.
  • Military Caregiver Leave: If an employee is the spouse, parent, son, daughter, or next-of-kin of a covered service member, they work for a covered employer, and are an eligible employee, they may be entitled to military caregiver leave. Military caregiver leave allows an employee to take up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period to take care of a military relative if he or she has a qualifying serious injury or illness. Source.

Here’s the thing about the guide though, it’s twenty-eight pages long (yes, 28!). That’s a lot of reading (even in a hammock over a long weekend) … and a lot of material to thumb through every time you need a question answered about military absence.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a cloud-software that pushed Military regulations to you when an employee was eligible for one of the leave types above? It sure would be. And, guess what … there is.

When you get back to the office after your three-day weekend, be sure to keep an eye out for the next evolution of leave and absence management. It’s arriving in June 2013.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you to our active duty and veteran servicemen and women!