Doing more for those who serve

Bristol Myers Squibb enhances it military leave policy for employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

November 10, 2019     

Members of the U.S. and Puerto Rico military make sacrifices for their country every day.  To help make things easier for them and their families when they are called to duty, and to ensure that Bristol Myers Squibb has one of the more robust policies in the pharmaceutical industry, the company is making changes to its military leave policy that will further enhance its offerings for employees serving their country.

So What’s Changing?

Kristin Jemison, Veterans Community Network Lead

Kristin Jemison, Veterans Community Network lead.

Beginning January 1, 2020, the company will offer full BMS pay for 24 months, eligible upon hire, rather than an offset pay for full and part-time U.S. and Puerto Rico employees engaged in uniformed services. Under current policy, employees are paid the difference between their military pay and their base salary (excluding shift differentials) for up to 24 months.

Military leave at BMS currently meets the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), legislation that was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton to protect the civilian employment of active and reserve military personnel in the United States called to active duty.

Under this new enhanced policy, a new paid two-week readjustment period will cover the time in between the conclusion of the employee’s military service and his or her return to work, along with enhanced Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services. And process improvements will be put in place to make it easier for these employees to take leave.

“Bristol Myers Squibb created a people and business resource group called the Veterans Community Network (VCN) to give employees a voice,” says J.J. Wilson, senior territory business manager, Specialty Retail Sales Cardiovascular.

“These actions speak louder than words, and this policy will give my family the opportunity to continue my service to this great nation without risk of comprising my ability to continue my career with BMS and provide the best service to my customers and their patients.  I’m proud to work for a company that cares about patients and people!” 

“As an employee and airman in the Air National Guard, I pride myself in service to our patients and to our country,” says Ken Faria, process engineer in R&D External Manufacturing. “The significance of the enhanced military leave policy cannot be overstated in showing commitment by BMS, and the VCN, to those BMS employees who are powered by purpose to serve. The policy alleviates many of our current life stresses, enabling us, our teams, and our families to focus on the mission; whether that be search and rescue after a hurricane or delivering medications to fight serious diseases.”

According to Kristin Jemison, VCN lead, “While active guard and reservists comprise a small employee population in our company, these enhancements have a huge impact for them and their families.”

The enhanced policy, she says, is BMS’ way of saying, “Your service is for all of us, so when you’re away, we’re here for you.”

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