An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


BIll increases time off for Reservists, gives military spouses unpaid leave

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jake Chappelle
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
An amendment to the Washington State Senate Bill 6447, Military Family Leave, now gives Guardsmen and Reservists 21 days of military leave per fiscal year, up from 15, after serving on active duty. 

The amendment does not apply to federal employees in the state. 

A new chapter has also been added to the act. The chapter states that spouses of Guard and Reserve members' are given 15 days of unpaid leave from their employer while their military spouse is on rest and recreation leave after being deployed during a wartime tour. 

The amendment and the chapter are effective June 12. 

"There was a separate bill for leave that was from 15 to 21 days of leave," said Sen. Steven Hobbs, bill sponsor. 

"The bill was dying so we threw it in as an amendment. I'm glad it worked out." 

The amendment reads that every public employee of the state, county, or local level who is a member of the Guard or Reserve and has been on any kind of active duty, including annual tour, is entitled to this leave. 

The leave is in addition to any vacation or sick leave that the employee is already entitled to, said Senator Hobbs. A Reservist or Guardsmen should not lose any privileges or pay. During the leave period, the employee should receive his or her normal pay from the state, county or local division that he works for. 

The new chapter of the bill applies to spouses of Reservists who have been deployed in support of a wartime tour, said Senator Hobbs. Spouses take their 15 days of unpaid leave while the Reservist is on rest and recreation time off. 

"It was actually sad," said Senator Hobbs. "We had spouses come in and say that their employer would give them only two days off. Some of the spouses' employers would threaten to fire them if they took days off to be with their spouse. The new chapter worked out well." 

Any Reservist having any problems with a civilian employer, should contact Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan, a representative with Employer Support Guard and Reserve. She can be reached at (253) 982-2060 or you can send an e-mail to