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November 30, 2005
Help for State Employees in the Military

Chapter 77 of the Acts of 2005 extends the law protecting public employees from pay loss while serving in the military. Without the passage of this bill, the law would have expired on September 11, 2005. It allows eligible employees to be paid their regular base salary as a public employee for each pay period of such military leave of absence, reduced by any amount received from the United States as base pay for military service performed during the same pay period. For example, if the salary for an individual enlisted in the military is $32,000 and their state salary is $50,000, the individual would be compensated for $18,000 to help ease the burden of paying bills while serving the nation.

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Under a change to the underlying law­which it extends past the September 11 deadline­the bill also allows state employees to receive more of their regular pay. Currently, Massachusetts deducts allowances employees receive from the military for family separation, food, or cost of living from their state pay. Under the new law, the state will no longer subtract these allowances from an individual's paycheck. The law also protects public employees on active military duty from loss of seniority, accrued vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, compensation time, or earned overtime. Municipal employers such as cities and towns may elect to make up the financial difference of their municipal employee's regular pay.

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