Durbin: Congress Approves Legislation Allowing Reservists Who Are Federal Employees to Receive Full Salary

Language Requires Federal Government to Make Up Difference in Civilian, Military Pay for Those Called Up to Active Duty

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – With the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Congress’ approval of his provision to help federal employees in the National Guard and Reserves avoid a loss of income when they are called to active military duty. Durbin first introduced legislation in 2001 – the Reservist Pay Security Act – to ensure that our brave men and women are paid the equivalent of their full civilian salary while they have been called to active military duty.


“For too long we encouraged Americans to serve their country in the National Guard and Reserves while punishing those who enlist by taking away a large portion of their income,” Durbin said. “With today’s legislation, the federal government will now make up that difference in pay – a step that many private corporations and state and local governments have already taken. As the largest single employer of Guard and Reserve members, the federal government has the responsibility to do the right thing and stand behind our soldiers.”


While soldiers receive pay for the time they are on active duty, the salary gap between military service and civilian employment can be considerable. A number of employers throughout the country have acted to close the pay gap for men and women serving in the Reserves and Guard whose military pay is less than their normal civilian salary. In Illinois, State Farm Insurance, the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and many other Illinois companies, city governments and county governments have established financial compensation plans for their employees called to serve.