BRISTOL - The City Council updated its military leave policy for city employees, to broaden the description of where they can be serving.
The policy hadn’t been updated in 13 years, “even though the face of the War on Terrorism has expanded and changed,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.
The only change occurs in the preamble, she noted. Instead of referencing employees who are members of the National Guard or the United States military reserves and are called to active duty in “Iraq, Afghanistan, or Operation Enduring Freedom,” it now says “anywhere in the world as the military operational environment changes and new theaters of operation are introduced.”
“The City has approximately nine employees who are in military reserves and I want to be sure that the City’s position and obligation is outlined appropriately if any of them are deployed,” she noted.
The change was effective as of March 13.
Otherwise, the policy remains the same, she said. “How the city handles the compensation, wages, benefits, health insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick leave, and military orders for all city employees, who are active or reserve, stays the same.”
The policy continues to state that for any “full-time regular and probationary employees” called to active duty, “the City shall pay the difference between the employee’s regular pay and that of the employee’s military pay as well as continue other benefits…for up to 18 contiguous months.”
Benefits listed include health insurance coverage, including dental, for the employee and eligible dependents that were covered on the date the employee was called to active duty, with cost-sharing continuing to be deducted from the employee’s paycheck. If the military service exceeds 18 months, the city will offer COBRA coverage at the employee’s expense.
The city will continue life insurance coverage for up to 18 months, and vacation and sick leave will continue to accrue during military service.
The employee must provide his or her department head with a copy of the military orders showing deployment date and duration of service.
The policy does not apply to any part-time, temporary, or seasonal employee, or to any employees who enlist or are drafted into the military.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or email@example.com.