Bulletin 04-02 - Provisions for Employees Reporting for Active Military Duty
1.0 - SUBJECT: Provisions for Eligible State Employees Reporting for Active Military Duty
2.0 - EFFECTIVE DATE: July 30, 2004
3.0 - DISTRIBUTION: State HR Directors
4.0 - FROM: Jack E. Rickerson, Director
5.0 - PURPOSE: This Bulletin is being issued to update and replace Bulletin No. 04-01 due to a misunderstanding of the language in Section 7.5 regarding Leave Accrual and Usage.Bulletin No. 04-01 is hereby revoked.
6.0 - BACKGROUND: The previous Bulletins implemented Executive Order 2001-05 regarding special provisions for state employees who are called to or volunteer for active military duty.
7.0 - PROCEDURES:
7.1 Job Protection
(a) The employee’s position will be protected for as long as they are required to remain on active duty. This protection applies to all benefits-eligible employees.
(b) The employee must return to state employment in accordance with the time limits set out in K.A.R. 1-9-7b (g) (1) and (2).
(c) Upon returning to their state position, employees will not be discharged from employment, except for cause:
(1) within one year of the date the employee returns to his or her
position if the employee’s period of active duty was more than 180 days; or
(2) within 180 days of the date the employee returns to his or her
position if the employee’s period of active duty was more than 30
days but less than 181 days.
(a) General increases and step increases that would have been received had the employee not been on military leave without pay will be granted when the employee returns to work from active duty.
(b) Bonuses for which the state has already made an obligation will be paid while the employee is on military leave without pay.
(c) While on military leave without pay, employees will receive longevity bonuses that they would have received had the employee not been on military leave without pay. Bonuses are to be paid when due, just as if the employee were not on military leave.
7.3 Length of Service
(a) The time spent on military leave will be counted as time worked toward length of service, eligibility for longevity pay, and the accrual rate for vacation leave.
7.4 Payment of Leave and Compensatory Time
(a) At the request of employees, agencies must provide a payout of the total balance (not to exceed the maximum allowed by K.A.R. 1-9-4) or a portion of the balance of any vacation leave, compensatory time, and holiday compensatory time accrued prior to leaving for active duty. The leave or compensatory time accrued during the pay period of the payout should not be paid out at the time the employee leaves for active military duty. This leave and/or time will be available for use when the employee returns from military duty.
(b) Employees will have the option to buyback either all or none of their vacation leave that was paid out, at the value that it was paid out regardless of subsequent increases to the employees’ rate of pay. Employees must exercise this option within 30 days after returning to work.
7.5 Leave Accrual and Usage
(a) Vacation and sick leave will not accrue while the employee is on military leave.
(b) Employees may request and use accrued vacation leave, compensatory time, and holiday compensatory time at any time over the course of the period that the employee is on leave for active duty.
(c) A discretionary holiday will be afforded to each eligible employee in accordance with the provisions of K.A.R. 1-9-2(b)(3) while the employee is on active duty. Employees must use the discretionary holiday within the period of time established for all state employees, either before being called to active duty, or after returning from active duty. If the employee does not use their discretionary holiday within the allotted time, the discretionary holiday is lost.
7.6 Group Health Insurance Plan (GHIP)
(a) Employee coverage ends effective the last day of the month in which the employee goes on military leave without pay.
(b) Employees on military leave without pay may continue coverage for the next 30 days and the agency will continue to make the GHI employer contribution for the 30 days. The employee is required to remit his/her premium (regular payroll deduction amount) to the agency to retain coverage during the 30 days following the effective date of the military leave without pay.
(c) Employees may continue coverage in the direct bill program beyond the 30 days leave without pay timeframe, but must remit the full premium. There will be no agency contribution. An employee with spouse, children, or full family coverage may elect to drop themselves and keep their spouse and/or children covered in the state direct bill program. However, employees must make the change within 30 days of the effective date of the military leave without pay.
(d) Employees who dropped health insurance while on military leave without pay may reenter the health insurance plan they left upon returning to work.
There is no waiting period.
(e) Employees on military leave without pay during Open Enrollment may enroll in any coverage for which they are eligible, without penalty, upon their return to active employment status.
(f) If an employee is qualified for and elects to participate in the military’s transitional health benefit program, the employee will be allowed to reenter the State of Kansas Health Plan without penalty when this coverage terminates. The employee may be qualified for up to 180 days of transitional health benefits.
7.7 KanElect Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for Health Care and Dependent Care
(a) Employee participation ends on the last day of the month worked.
(b) Employees may choose to continue enrollment only in the Health Care
FSA under the COBRA state plan (personal payment of contribution). If an employee chooses to continue his or her HealthCare FSA while on military leave, the employee would need to make the non pre-tax payment (monthly or lump sum) to Kan Elect c/o DPS Health Benefits Section, and DPS will voucher the funds through A&R for transmittal to the vendor. The Health Care FSA can only be continued through the end of the current plan year.
(c) The employee may terminate active enrollment and reenter the plan upon return from military leave without a waiting period. Coverage would start the first of the month after return from military leave. The contribution amount will be either the same elected amount, or a different amount based on a status change during the leave.
7.8 Deferred Compensation
(a) If enrolled, participation will be suspended on the last paycheck.
(b) Employees may reenter the program upon returning to work.
(c) Hardship withdrawals can be considered based on IRS guidelines.
7.9 Life Insurance and Death Benefit
(a) Employees retain state provided group term life insurance coverage at no cost to the employee while on military leave.
(b) Employees may remain in the group for Optional Group Life Insurance for up to 12 months by paying the premium. Payments should be arranged with the employee’s agency.
(c) At the end of the 12-month period, if the employee chooses to continue
Optional Group Life Insurance coverage, the employee must convert to a private policy. The employee would then make arrangements with and remit the premium directly to the vendor.
8.0 - REFERENCES: K.A.R. 1-2-46, 1-5-11, 1-5-29, 1-9-2, 1-9-7a, 1-9-7b and 1-9-13.