County clarifies conditions for employees on military duty

The King County Council recently adopted legislation that ensures "qualified service personnel pay equity regardless of when they joined the Uniformed Services or are called into service."

According to the county, this new piece of legislation also "provides differential pay, clarifies qualifications for leave of absence to serve, and specifies the duration of pay and benefits."

Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer said he was happy to support this move by the council.

"As a veteran, I understand firsthand the strains put on our troops and their families while they're on deployment," he said. "I'm proud to co-sponsor this legislation to ensure service members no longer have to worry about being treated unfairly while they're overseas in defense of our nation."

The new legislation broadened the scope of eligibility for county employees who are in the military, removing a restriction over the date when employees may have enlisted. Along with this, the new piece of legislation expands the definition of "Uniformed Services" to include those serving in the Armed Services and the Washington National Guard as well as those serving in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and its Reserves and, when appropriate, appointees to the National Disaster Medical System.

"The families of our county employees called into active duty already face a number of challenges - one of those challenges shouldn't be the loss of benefits they've rightfully earned," said Larry Gossett, council chair and prime sponsor for the legislation. "This legislation ensures that no matter when they were called, or what branch of the service they serve in, those benefits will be available to them and their families."

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