Other Massachusetts Benefits and Protections
National Guard members: If you are in the Massachusetts National Guard, you receive extra protections. No employer (public or private) can discriminate against you under M.G.L. ch. 33, s.13. If you work for the state, you get paid your state salary while you are on certain types of duty in the Commonwealth at the order of the commander-in-chief. This applies to counties and municipalities, if they adopt M.G.L. ch.33, s.59. These duties include annual training, emergency assistance, repelling invasions or suppressing insurrections, controlling riots or mobs, or protecting persons or property during catastrophes or natural disasters.
Real estate tax: If, in the judgment of the assessor, you can show poverty or financial hardship resulting from a call-up, and if you file a timely application, you can get a property tax exemption under Chapter 470 of the Acts of 2002. The exemption is executed in a tax deferral and recovery agreement providing protection for the member’s share in the property and for your surviving spouse and heirs. For more information, see the law at www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/seslaw02/sl020470.htm.
Lay-offs: If you are a “veteran,” as defined in M.G.L. ch. 4, s.7, cl.43rd, and you hold a state job which is not subject to M.G.L. ch. 31 (civil service), you are protected if you have three years in your position. You have tenure in that position under M.G.L. ch. 30, s.9A. In the event of a lay-off, you have a right to a similar existing position, in the same group or grade, unless all positions are held by veterans, in which case lay-offs are in inverse order of their original appointments. Tenured veterans have preference amongst themselves according to the date of their appointment.
Veterans who are civil service employees, classified under Chapter 31, also have lay-off protection in that disabled veterans are retained in preference to all other persons, including veterans. See M.G.L. ch.31, s.26 at www.state.ma.us/legis/laws/mgl/31-26.htm.
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance: Acts of 2005 ch. 130 - The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will reimburse 50% of the monthly premium for any amount of coverage for a member of the Massachusetts National Guard who purchases the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance or 50% of equivalent coverage for group life insurance with a company of the Guard member’s choosing, not to exceed the amount of the premium that would be covered if they were to elect coverage by Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance.
Creditable service: Acts of 2005 ch. 130 - This change to the existing law allows for those members of the National Guard or Reserves in neighboring states but working in a public service capacity within Massachusetts to have the military service counted as creditable service time and may be applied toward retirement on a ratio of five years of Guard or Reserve time for each year of active service.