ST04 Arkansas (December 2007; Updated August 2010)
1.18: USERRA and Other Laws
2.0: Paid Leave
Military Leave for Public Employees in Arkansas
By CAPT Samuel F. Wright, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Arkansas law provides as follows concerning military leave for employees of the state and its political subdivisions:
"Employees who are members of the National Guard or any of the reserve branches of the armed forces shall be granted leave at the rate of fifteen days per calendar year, plus necessary travel time for annual training requirements or other duties performed in an official duty status. Arkansas code section 21-4-212(a)(1).
"To the extent this leave is not used in a calendar year, it will accumulate for use in the succeeding calendar year until it totals 15 days at the beginning of a calendar year. Section 21-4-212(a)(2).
"The leave shall be granted without loss of pay and in addition to regular vacation time. Section 21-4-212(a)(3).
"Each employee who requests military leave shall furnish a copy of his or her orders for his or her personnel file." Section 21-4-212(a)(4).
The law next addresses longer-term activations.
"An employee who is drafted or called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States or who volunteers for military service shall be placed on extended military leave without pay, and upon application within 90 days after the effective date of his or her release from active duty shall be reinstated to the position vacated or an equivalent position at no loss of seniority or any of the other benefits and privileges of employment." Section 21-4-212(b)(1).
"The right of reemployment shall conform with all federal government rules and regulations." Section 21-4-212(b)(2).
"Any employee who enlists or reenlists for a second consecutive tour of military duty shall be deemed to have forfeited his or her reemployment rights." Section 21-4-212(c).
The code then discusses emergency callups.
"Personnel called to duty in emergency situations by the Governor or the President shall be granted leave with pay not to exceed 30 working days after which leave without pay will be granted. This leave shall be granted in addition to regular vacation time." Section 21-4-212(d)(1).
"'Emergency situations' means any case of invasion, disaster, insurrection, riot, breach of peace, or imminent danger thereof, threats to the public health or security, or threats to the maintenance of law and order." Section 21-4-212(d)(2).
Finally, the Arkansas statute addresses employee benefits and other rights.
"During any military leave of absence, the employee shall be entitled to preserve all seniority rights, efficiency or performance ratings, promotional status, retirement privileges, life and disability insurance benefits, and any other rights, privileges, and benefits to which the employee has become entitled." Section 21-4-212(e)(1).
"The period of military service shall, for purposes of computations to determine whether such person may be entitled to retirement benefits, be deemed continuous service, and the employee shall not be required to make any contributions to any retirement fund." Section 21-4-212(e)(2).
"The state shall continue to contribute its portion of any life or disability insurance premiums during the leave of absence on behalf of the employee, if requested, so that continuous coverage may be maintained." Section 21-4-212(e)(3).
"Whenever any state employee as defined by section 21-4-203 or any employee of a political subdivision is granted military leave for a period of fifteen days per calendar year or fiscal year, under the provisions of this section, the military leave will accumulate for use in succeeding calendar years or fiscal years until it totals 15 days at the beginning of the calendar year or fiscal year, for a maximum number of military leave days available in any one calendar year or fiscal year to be thirty days." Section 21-4-212(f).