Does anyone have a policy about rehiring a previous employee and bridging their service? In other words, if an employee has worked for x number of years and then resigns/is laid off and is rehired within x amount of time, is their service bridged as if there were no break in service?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!


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  • The one I like the most of all of those I have worked with bridged service if you had more time in before you left than the time you were gone. For example, I began work for your company on 2-1-90. I leave you after 7 years on 2-1-97. I wish to come back two years later on 2-1-99. Because I have not been gone more than seven years, I get my service time back and an adjusted service date of 2-1-92. I'm not given credit for the time I was gone, but I don't lose the time I had before. If I had waited 7 1/2 years to return, then my hire date is the day I start work. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call me at 615-371-8200. Hope this helps!

  • That is great information, Margaret. Thanks so much!

  • For what purpose are you "bridging service"? If you are talking retirement
    plans, there are specific and often complex ERISA rules about crediting service
    for rehires. It also depends on the purpose under the plan for which you are
    crediting service. For purposes of vesting, you generally have to credit their
    prior service if they come back within 5 years. For purposes of eligibility to
    participate in the plan, he "rule of parity" works very similarly to the rules
    described below, except that if the person previously worked less than five
    years you have to give them credit if they come back within 5 years. For
    purposes of determining the amount of benefit accrued under the plan and the
    person is vested in their benefit, you basically cannot take away their service
    ever even if they never come back to work.

    The rules specific to your plan should be spelled out in your plan document and
    summary plan description. I hope this will be helpful to you.

    Scott Ruth
    Miller & Martin LLP

  • Thank you for the information, Scott. The only retirement plan we have is 401(k) so the bridging of service will apply to our personal time accruals more than anything else. I appreciate your insight!

  • Ours is that we will credit a rehire for former service under the following conditions. If they have between two and five years service and return within two months. If they were employed for more than five years if they return within four months. There is no change in anniversary date and new waiting periods for insurance and benefits apply.

  • Do you immediately reinstate all service related benefits such as PTO, 401(k), insurances, etc. based on the adjusted service date???

  • As a manuftg industry we regularly rehire. Our policy...if rehired within 30 days, everything is reinstated. Longer than 30 days, start over with probationary period again with medical, dental, 401(k) benefit elgibility. All previous time does count with 401(k) vesting schedule. Employee receives holiday benefits right away. Vacation benefit accruals start over, previous time does not count.
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