Employment Law

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Signed into law on October 13, 1994, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) helps strengthen, and make clear, the Veteran’s Reemployment Rights Statute. The Act can be located in the United States code at Chapter 43, Part III, Title 38 (http://www.dol.gov/vets/usc/vpl/usc38.htm).

Qualifications

Voluntary, or involuntary, individuals who perform duty in the uniformed services

o    Army

o    Navy

o    Marine Corps.

o    Air Force

o    Coast Guard

o    Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

o    Reserved Components of aforementioned groups

o    Federal training or service in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard

o    Certain disaster response workers

Reemployment Rights:

A servicemember who has left their job to serve in the armed forces has the right to be reemployed by that same job, if they also meet the following criteria:

You make sure your employer receives a written notice or verbal notice of your service

You have 5 years or less of cumulative service in the military while with your current employer

You return and apply for reemployment in a timely manner once your military service has been completed

You were not discharged from service with anything other than an honorable condition

If all of these requirements are met, then a servicemember must be able to be reemployed to their job. In addition, they receive the same benefits they would have obtained if they had not left their position to serve in the military.

Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation Rights

These rights apply if:

You are a current or former member of the uniformed service

Applied for the uniformed service

Have an obligation to provide service

If so, an employer cannot deny:

Initial Employment

Reemployment

Retention in Employment

Promotions

Any Benefits an individual would normally receive

An employer is also prevented from taking any forms of retaliation against anyone assisting in the enforcement of their rights under the USERRA.

Health Insurance Protection

If an individual must leave their job in order to perform military service, that individual has the right to continue their existing employer-based health coverage for themselves and their dependents for 24 months while on active duty.

If that individual does not choose to continue coverage during military service, the servicemember maintains the right to reinstate the health plan if they choose to return to the job.

Enforcement of Rights

The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans employment and Training Service (VETS) resolves and investigates complaints of USERRA violations.

If you need help filing a complaint, or would like more information on USERRA you can contact the following:

o    VETS at 1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit the website at: http://www.dol.gov/vets

o    Or for an interactive online advisor: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/userra.htm

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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