The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 was passed to protect the civilian employment of military personnel in the United States called to active duty. USERRA covers everything from reemployment rights, health insurance, discrimination and retaliation. If you (1) are a past or present member of the uniformed service, (2) have applied for membership in the uniformed service, or (3) are obligated to serve in the uniformed service, then an employer may not deny you initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment because of this status. In addition, an employer may not retaliate against anyone assisting in the enforcement of USERRA rights, including testifying or making a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even if that person has no service connection.
If a military member leaves a job to perform service in the uniformed services, that military member has the right to be reemployed in their civilian job so long as (1) the employer receives advance written or verbal notice of service; (2) the military member has five years of less of cumulative service in the uniform services while with that particular employer; (3) after conclusion of service, reemployment to return to work is done is a timely manner after conclusion of service; and (4) no disqualifying or other than honorable conditions apply to discharge. If all conditions are met, the military member must be restored to the job and benefits he/she would have attained if he/she had not been absent due to military service, or in some cases, a comparable job. Furthermore, if you leave your job to perform military service, you have the right to either (1) continue your existing employer-based health coverage plan for you and dependent(s) for up to 24 months, or (2) elect to not continue coverage during military service, but be reinstated in employer’s health plan when reemployed.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of USERRA violations. Contact an RMN attorney today at lawyer@RMN-law.com or 412-626-5626 for more information on USERRA. Follow the link below to determine if USERRA applies to you.