Enacted in 1994, the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) is important and more relevant since 2001, when almost 700,000 National Guard and Reserve members have been called to active duty.
Who does USERRA protect?
USERRA protects employees who serve in military service, including the National Guard and Reserve.
With limited exceptions, any private or public employer who employs at least one employee must comply with USERRA.
How does USERRA protect employees?
USERRA forbids discrimination against service members who have been discriminated against in hiring, retention, promotion, or receipt of benefits.
If you are called to serve in the uniformed services, USERRA requires that your employer reemploy you in the position you occupied prior to service. When you return, your employer must grant you seniority and other rights that you would have earned if you had been employed during your term of service.
After your employer places you in your former position, you are protected from premature termination for a limited period of time. If your employer attempts to terminate you during the protected period, the termination must be “for cause.” If you have asserted your rights under USERRA, you are also protected from retaliation.