Military Leave

Amended date: 12/01/2018

Tufts supports those employees who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves and other Uniformed Services of the United States. The university therefore offers Military Leave for military service; military caregivers; and participation in Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day exercises.

Military Service

Employees shall be granted unpaid Military Service Leave when called to active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves.  Eligible military service may also include service in the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or in any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war for a national emergency.  Employees on Military Service Leave whose military pay is less than their regular university pay will receive the difference in wages for up to two (2) weeks per calendar year; otherwise the leave is unpaid.

With certain exceptions, employees returning from Military Service Leave must either report to work or apply for reinstatement as follows:

  • Military Service of 1 to 30 days: The employee must report to work by the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work period that begins on the next calendar day following completion of service, after allowance for safe travel home from the military duty location and an 8-hour rest period. If due to no fault of the employee, timely reporting back to work would be impossible or unreasonable, the employee must report back to work to their supervisor as soon as possible.
  • Military Service of 31 to 180 days:  A written request for reemployment must be submitted to the immediate manager no later than 14 days after completion of the employee’s military service. If submission of a timely request is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the employee, the request must be submitted as soon as possible.
  • Military Service of 181 or more days: A request for reemployment must be submitted to the immediate manager no later than 90 days after completion of the employee’s military service.

Military Caregivers

The university provides additional leave benefits for military families and those who provide care and support to injured service members.  Employees who have worked at Tufts for at least twelve (12) months and 1,250 hours in the twelve (12) month period prior to the start of the leave are eligible for up to:

  • Twelve (12) weeks of unpaid Military Caregiver Leave during a single twelve (12) month period to assist with support of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has been ordered to, or is returning from active duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves in a foreign country. Military Caregiver Leave is intended to address the most common issues that arise when a military member is deployed to or returning from a foreign country, including support such as attendance at military events, arranging for childcare, assisting with financial and legal arrangements, attending counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. 
  • Twenty-six (26) weeks of unpaid Military Caregiver Leave during a single twelve (12) month period to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or other family member for whom the employee is the next of kin, where the military member has a serious injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty. Military Caregiver Leave also extends to veterans with a serious injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, so long as the veteran was a member of the Armed Forces, including National Guard or Reserves, at any time during the five (5) years preceding the leave.

Participation in Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day Exercises

Any employee who is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces (including certain full-time National Guard service), and who wishes to participate in a Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day exercise, parade or service in their community of residence on a date that the employee is scheduled to work, will be given sufficient time off to do so.  If the exercise falls on a university holiday, the employee will be paid holiday time for the period of the absence. Otherwise, the period of absence will be unpaid or, if the employee chooses, paid from any accrued vacation or personal time.

In certain circumstances, the university may have to deny such a request if the employee’s services are essential to securing the health and safety of the Tufts’ community and its campuses at that time.

Applying for Military Leave

Employees shall provide advance notice of the need for Military Leave, unless military necessity prevents such notice or it is otherwise impossible or unreasonable. Employees in need of Military Leave should notify the employee’s supervisor and Human Resources at

Interaction with Other Types of Leave

Military Leave runs concurrently with other types of university leave. Employees may use any available paid vacation or Sick Leave days (as authorized by university policy) during Military Leave.

Return from Military Leave

Upon return from Military Leave, most employees will be returned to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. 

Depending upon the length of Military Leave for active duty, Tufts will make reasonable efforts to enable employees to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. If a returning employee is not qualified for the position to which they otherwise would have been entitled, Tufts will work with that employee to identify and place the employee into an available alternative position. Reemployment may not occur if Tufts’ circumstances have changed so as to make such reemployment impossible or unreasonable; would impose an undue hardship on the university; or an employee’s prior employment with Tufts was for a brief, non-recurrent period (e.g., a temporary employee) and there was no reasonable expectation that such employment would continue indefinitely or for a significant period. In addition, reemployment cannot be guaranteed if an employee’s total cumulative Military Leave exceeds five (5) years.

Benefits While on Leave

An employee already enrolled may continue health and other insurance coverages during unpaid leave subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the applicable plans in which the employee may participate and subject to requirement that the employee pay for their portion of benefit costs.  Alternatively, an employee may waive coverages and have them reinstated upon return from leave.

Retaliation and Discrimination Prohibited

It is prohibited to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for having exercised their rights under this policy. 


This policy applies to all staff, temporary staff, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, independent contractors, affiliates or any other members of the Tufts community, including those hired contractually or who work under faculty or postdoctoral scholar handbooks, or who are otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement. 

Related Links and Resources:

Postdoctoral Scholars’ Handbook:

For more information regarding state and federal laws upon which this policy is based, please see:

Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act


This Military Leave Statement is part of the HR Employee Policies and Procedures that can be found at here.

Disclaimer: Changes to this policy and the handbook in which it is maintained may be made at any time, at the sole discretion of the University and is not a contract. Employment by the University is at will and either the employee or the University may end the employment relationship at any time.