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Old 11-23-2009, 10:35 PM   #1  
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Default FDX Mil Leave

What's the problem with Mil Leave? Why all the fuss by the company?
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:40 PM   #2  
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Default Mil leave

Well as we all know, we are overmanned, so the company just wishes to try and delay any mil leave requests until after peak. That way they don't have to worry about "scheduling issues".
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:48 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by fdx10 View Post
What's the problem with Mil Leave? Why all the fuss by the company?
Can you be more specific about what problem you ran into?
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:31 AM   #4  
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Word is that LK and the boys will call you to ask if it is necessary, and then want the number for your commander to confirm (basically calling you a two-faced liar). Have your Commander in the loop, and he can give him a bunch of grief for wasting his time asking a question that has already been asked and answered once.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:34 AM   #5  
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What is this, kindergarden? Wow.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:50 AM   #6  
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Position: 767 CA
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You'd think that in an overmanned situation that they'd want as many folks taking mil leave as possible.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by fedupbusdriver View Post
Word is that LK and the boys will call you to ask if it is necessary, and then want the number for your commander to confirm (basically calling you a two-faced liar). Have your Commander in the loop, and he can give him a bunch of grief for wasting his time asking a question that has already been asked and answered once.
I'm so glad we are spending mucho $$ on our large group of ACPs. Apparently they're so busy they're looking for things to do during peak.

I'm not surprised they ask questions twice. That's how they think. They have also earned the same treatment from us. When we get an answer we don't like from an ACP I hope everyone asks the union. That is, of course, after reading the contract to get edumicated.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:28 AM   #8  
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From the crewroom:

November 23, 2009

The holidays must be upon us. As the Military Affairs Chair, I can always tell, because I get an increased number of calls from pilots who have been contacted by management regarding military leave. This year is no different.

In keeping with the holiday theme, think of this email as the Mil Affairs Exchange (the MAX). One stop shopping for all your holiday military/civilian employment needs…with an acronym.

If you’re looking for basic info on your rights, go to the Your Rights Under the Law section. For gift ideas, try the Q & A section. And if you’ve just got the holiday blues and don’t know where to turn, go to Customer Service where you will find resources for obtaining further information or filing a complaint, and for you online shoppers, there are links to government sites as well.

I know this isn’t really a “Fast” “Fastread,” (how fast would you expect holiday shopping to be?) so I’ve tried to include intuitive keywords to help you “search” or “find” your way through the mall; hopefully a search for “VIPS,” or “orders,” or “commander,” will get you head of the line privileges.

Your Rights Under the Law

First, I’d like to thank the Company for recently positing those nifty “Know your USERRA Rights,” in compliance with the law. This section is a synopsis of the relevant law, tailored to the FedEx experience.

The bottom line on USERRA – the law covering civilian employment and military service -- is that its purpose is to prevent and/or compensate Reservists for employment discrimination based on military status. That means that your civilian employer cannot deny you any benefit of employment because of your military status. “Any benefit of employment” means any advantage, privilege, gain, status, account, interest, or profit (other than lost wages), pursuant to employment. These protections must be broadly construed to the Reservists’ benefit, and cannot be abridged by any other law, contract, agreement, policy, or practice. Employers can’t take those rights from you. Unions can’t negotiate them away. Not even military commanders can strip them from you. They’re yours, and ultimately, the Department of Justice is charged with helping you enforce them in court, if required.

To be covered by USERRA a Reservist needs to:

1) Notify the Company that you are taking MLA.
a. Except for a few circumstances such as “military necessity” (not your call – the service decides this), unavailability of the employer or it’s agent (you can always call a duty officer), or the need for the Reservist to report in an “extremely short period of time” (again, probably not applicable).
2) Perform no more than five cumulative years of “voluntary” service.
3) Return to work in a “timely manner” following your service.
a. For service of 30 days or less: typically the next “regularly scheduled work period” following safe travel back from the location of your duty.
b. For service greater than 30 days but less than 181: typically you must re-apply (written or verbal) within 14 days of completing service.
c. For service 181 days or more: typically you must re-apply (written or verbal) within 90 days of completing service.
d. Sickness, injury, and circumstances beyond your control can extend these deadlines.
4) Don’t eat the “Big Chicken Dinner”
a. If you get a Bad Conduct Discharge, Other Than Honorable Discharge, Dishonorable Discharge, thrown out by a Court Martial, or dropped from the rolls for being AWOL/UA – No USERRA for you!

Q & A

Q: Can the company deny my Military leave over the holidays (or anytime)?
A: No. Reservists inform their employers of military leave, not request it; or, in the words of Congress: “[t]he employee is not required to ask for or get his or her employer’s permission … only to give the employer notice of the pending service.”

Q: My FOA/ACP said I have to use VIPS to submit Mil Leave, is that true?
A: No. Notice of MLA may be informal and does not need to follow any particular format. Under USERRA, “any written or verbal notification of an obligation or intention to perform service” is sufficient (In fact, in the rule making process, the Department of Labor specifically rejected attempts by lobbyists to impose a written notice requirement. It even rejected the inclusion of a mere recommendation that the member provide notice in writing).

Q: The Company keeps demanding a copy of my orders before I take MLA, can they do that?
A: No.

Q: Do I need to give the Company a copy of my orders when I return?
A: No, but. You never need to provide orders. But, if your military service exceeded 30 days, then, upon your return, the Company can request written documentation that you are eligible for reemployment. This can be in the form of orders, LES, DD-214, or letter from your commander. The Association recommends a letter from your commander, as the other documents all contain personal and OPSEC information that the company is not entitled to and has used that information against pilots in the past.

Q: My ACP won’t process my MLA until I turn in orders because Section 13D. of the CBA, can he do that?
A: No. Firstly, USERRA states that it trumps any contract, secondly, USERRA says that you notify your employer of MLA, not request it; and that you may do so verbally, and lastly, USERRA makes it clear that your employer cannot impose any procedural restrictions on taking military leave.

Q: The Company says they can ask my commander to change my orders, is that true?
A: Yes. In fact “Title 32” (National Guard – but NOT Reserve) commanders must “consider (but not necessarily grant)” a civilian employers request to change orders under a number of conditions such as hardship on the employer (which, I betcha the Company will claim, even while we operate under 4.A.2.b.) and the best interest of the military – which is subject to the discretion of the commander. But if the calls amount to harassment or “enhanced scrutiny” due to your military service, then the Company has broken the law.

Q: My ACP called my spouse and commander about my MLA, is that okay?
A: Yes, But. The Company can call anybody they want to, but if the calls amount to harassment or “enhanced scrutiny” due to your military service, then the Company has broken the law.

Q: Didn’t the Air Force make it mandatory for me to give FedEx a copy of my orders for any MLA?
A: No. Gen Stenner, of the The Air Force Reserve has put out a policy letter which applies only to AFRC members (doesn’t apply to ANG, ARC). The letter is states that an “employer can fairly demand the member show proof [of service for MLA of any duration],” but this letter does not abridge your USERRA rights by making any pre MLA requirement nor post MLA requirement to submit a copy of your orders. USERRA states that written proof may only be requested by your employer after reemployment from MLA greater than 30 days, and may be in the form of orders, LES, DD-214 or a letter from your commander.

Q: Can I take MLA over a holiday?
A: Yes. The law explicitly provides that, so long as the member’s absence from civilian employment is protected by the Act, the employee retains USERRA rights “even if the employee uses the absence for other purposes as well.” We may all rely upon our own moral compasses for guidance on what this means to us; however, claims of abuse related to military leave taken in proximity to holidays, vacation, days off, or personal commitments are, as a matter of law, unfounded; so long as an obligation or intent to perform military service is part of the reason for the military leave.

Q: My ACP left me a message to give him a call about my MLA, should I call him back?
A: No. Your MEC has put out recent warnings about responding to ACP’s seemingly innocuous requests to return phone calls. Ensure all your communications with the company about military issues (or any other issues) are documented and copied to your Military Affairs Chair. If you discuss something by phone or in person, follow up the conversation with an email to the person, summarizing the discussion, cc’d to me. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Q: You didn’t answer my question in this section, where can I turn?
A: The next shop down is Customer Service.

Customer Service

The following links should answer any remaining questions you have, and show you where to turn, should you need more help.

USERRA: Department of Labor’s Rules under USERRA – These rules are to USERRA what the FAR’s are to the Civil Aviation Act, only in a much more user-friendly “question and answer” format. ACP’s, this is a great resource for you, too.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:


Go to Executive Branch Resources on GPO Access,
click on “Electronic Code of Federal Regulations” (about 1/3 of the way down the page, indented, under “Code of Federal Regulations”),
in the drop-down box, select “Title 20 Employees’ Benefits,
Click the link in the “Browse Parts” column for “1000-1099”
In the left-hand column, click the link to “1002”

VETS (Veterans’ Employment and Training Service – the part of Department of Labor charged with administering USERRA) Advisor – an online questionnaire to help you determine if a USERRA violation has occurred:

elaws - USERRA Advisor

VETS electronic complaint Form where you can submit your situation to VETS and they will determine if a USERRA violation occurred:

Last edited by FDXer; 11-24-2009 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Personal email and phone numbers removed.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:37 AM   #9  
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Boy, I wish I was an active military person. I would be all over the mil leave. Just helping with the overmanning. Know your rights.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #10  
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Position: Retired
Posts: 3,589


Good job! Great post!

Happy Holidays.

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