Overview of Arizona's Time Off Laws for Military Personnel

 A variety of federal and state laws, policies, and programs provide military personnel (both servicemembers and civilians) in Arizona access to time off from work to fulfill a commitment to the U.S. Armed Services, including the National Guard and Reserve.

This document summarizes state laws that supplement the federal protections.

The National Guard Antidiscrimination Act (A.R.S. § 26-167)

– No employer may discriminate against National Guard members who are absent from work under competent military orders. Competent orders are duty orders issued by the Arizona National Guard or any of the U.S. Military Armed Services to report for active duty, maneuvers, camps, training or drills. (A.R.S. § 26-168)

– Employers may not create barriers that would deprive a National Guard member from obtaining employment in his or her trade or profession.

– Employers may not discourage employees from enlisting in service “by threat of or actual infliction of physical punishment or economic damage.”

Absence from Employment for Military Duty Act (A.R.S. § 26-168)

– Members of the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves are entitled to take leaves of absence to comply with competent orders.

o Time off pursuant to competent orders may not impact an employee’s vacation rights. However, employers may count these absences when calculating an employee’s eligibility for and amount of vacation time and pay.

– Members of the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves cannot lose seniority if complying with competent orders.

o Upon return, the employer must allow the employee to return to his/her previous position or to a higher-ranking position in which he or she is qualified to fill and would have obtained but for the absence due to service.

– State employees who are members of the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves are entitled to a leave of absence to comply with competent orders.

o Employees shall not lose time or efficiency rating as a result of this leave.

o State, county, city, and town employees must receive paid time off for military leaves of up to 30 days every other year. (A.R.S. § 38-610)

o If the leave is 30 days or less, the employee is entitled to pay and the military leave will not be deducted from the employees’ vacation time.

Absence from Employment for National Disaster Work (A.R.S. § 38-610.02)

– Members of the National Guard called up by the National Disaster Medical System are given access to job-protected time off that provides for leave until an employee is released from active duty.

– During this leave, the employee shall receive his or her regular salary less the amount paid by the government for active duty.1 Employees are not entitled to accrue annual and sick leave during active duty.

1 Employees are required to prove honorable service while on active duty. The State may seek recovery of the pay differential if an employee fails to prove honorable service.

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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