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Military Duty Leave for Employees in Florida

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Florida employers must provide employees with leave for military duty in accordance with these state rules.

The Florida Uniformed Servicemembers Protection Act provides certain protections to members of the military in various legal proceedings and contractual relationships.

Reinstatement

Upon completion of state active duty, a member of the National Guard shall promptly notify the employer of his or her intent to return to work. An employer is not required to allow a member of the National Guard to return to work if:

  • the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make employment impossible or unreasonable;
  • employment would impose an undue hardship on the employer;
  • the employment from which the member leaves to serve in state active duty is for a brief, nonrecurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation that the employment will continue indefinitely or for a significant period; or
  • the employer had legally sufficient cause to terminate the member at the time he or she left for state active duty.

The employer has the burden of proof for any of these factors.

A member of the National Guard who returns to work after serving on state active duty is entitled to the seniority that the member had at his or her place of employment on the date of commencement of his or her state active duty and any other rights and benefits that inure to the member as a result of the seniority and any additional seniority that the member would have attained at his or her place of employment if he or she had remained continuously employed and the rights and benefits that inure to the member as a result of the seniority.

A member of the National Guard who returns to work after serving on state active duty may not be discharged from employment for a period of one year after the member returns to work, except for cause.

An employer may not require any National Guard member returning to employment following a period of state active duty service to use vacation, annual, compensatory, or similar leave for the period during which the member was ordered into state active duty.

However, any returning member, upon his or her request, is permitted to use for the period during which the member was ordered into state active duty, any vacation, annual, compensatory, or similar leave with pay accrued by the member prior to the commencement of his or her state active duty service.

Prohibited Discrimination

Any person who seeks or holds an employment position may not be denied employment or retention in employment, or any promotion or advantage of employment because of any obligation as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces.

If a member of the National Guard is ordered into state active duty, an employer may not discharge, reprimand, or in any other way penalize the member because of the member's absence by reason of state active duty.

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