Q. What impact does USERRA have on the high-3 calculation?
For instance, please consider a hypothetical situation in which a civilian employee/military reservist earned annual income from his civilian federal agency of $96,000 one year, then $98,000 the next and then is making $100,000 when called to active duty at the end of the next year. He is activated for two years, during which time the GS scale gets annual 3 percent increases across the board. He comes back and works a final year, pays his military deposit, then retires after another 3 percent increase gives him an entire year at $110,000.
Under USERRA, is his “high-3” salary to be calculated as if he never left his civilian job for military service – i.e., he gets treated as if he had earned $103,000 and $106,000 during each of those consecutive years – or will USPS/DHS/USDA, etc., simply report the high-3 average of $98,000, $100,000 and $110,000.
A. Regulations in 5 CFR 353.107 provide that upon re-employment, an employee absent because of uniformed service is generally entitled to be treated as though he or she never left. This means that a person who is re-employed following uniformed service receives credit for the entire period of the absence for purposes of rights and benefits based upon seniority and length of service, including within-grade increases, career tenure, completion of probation, leave rate accrual and severance pay.