TN 5 (09-05)
SL 90005.502 August 24, 2005 Action Items
A. 08/24/2005 Action Items
SL 30001.336 Referendums for Deployed Miliary Personnel
A. Deployed Military Personnel
Changed second and third paragraphs to:
Due to the unique circumstances experienced by military personnel who are called to duty, especially during times of war or other similar conflict, exceptions regarding military personnel who are called to duty and the 90 day advance notice of referendum will be made. Military personnel called to duty prior to the day the state administrator, or the individual delegated the authority to issue advance notice mails, delivers, posts, or by whatever means issues the 90 day advance notice of referendum will be allowed an additional 60 days to receive the notice before the referendum can be held. The 60 day extension will be in excess of the original 90 day advance notice of referendum and will apply to all eligible members of the retirement system. While conditions which are outside of the deployed employee's control make it necessary to provide the additional 60 day extension, insuring equal opportunity for participation by all stakeholders, it would not be to the benefit of non-military eligible employees to delay the referendum for a period of time greater than 60 additional days.
Federal law requires that certain minimum conditions be met when conducting a referendum. Section 218(d)(3) lists the Federal requirements for a majority vote referendum while Section 218(d)(7) lists the Federal requirements for a divided vote referendum. All other responsibilities impacting referenda are given to the State. However, it is suggested that the advance notification be accompanied with language that informs all eligible members the reasons why the 90 day advance notification is extended an additional 60 days. Also, a ballot should be included with the advance notice of referendum. This will reduce the likelihood of having additional delays once the voting process begins. The ballot should be returned no later than the cessation of the 60 day extension. Any ballot received after the 60 day extension will be accepted, provided the votes of all other eligible employees of the retirement system have not been tallied. State Administrators or the official delegated authority to conduct referenda are encouraged to retain or document correspondence with the retirement system and/or the employers when inquiring whether any eligible members have been called to duty.
Changed second and third bullet items to:
If the 90 day advance notice of the referendum (Federal law does not prescribe the form of notice) is issued on January 1st and it is determined prior to 12:00AM January 1st that an eligible member(s) of the coverage group is deployed and has maintained under USERRA intent to return to employment then the 90 day notice will be extended from March 31st to May 30th for all participants. Therefore, the referendum may be held any time on or after May 31st. Federal law allows states to conduct voting for purposes of holding a referendum by whatever means they prescribe as long as the conditions within 218(d)(3) and 218(d)(7) are met.
Employees who are called to duty for military purposes are often unaware of the amount of time that they will be detailed. In many instances their departure could be days, weeks, months, or years. If the 90 day advance notice is sent at any point during the absence of any eligible employee of the retirement system due to being called to duty then the additional 60 days must be given to all eligible employees. The extension can not be retracted once issued. In certain infrequent situations reservist or guard members may be activated to participate in short duration events not related to the event of war or other national emergency, in which case it is left to the State's discretion whether they choose to activate the 60 day extension.