The Uniform Services Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) became law in 1994 following the first Persian Gulf Conflict. The purpose of USERRA was to expand the rights of employees returning to work from uniformed service by entitling them to positions with their former, pre-service employers, complete with all of the seniority, status, pay and benefits that the service member would have accrued had he/she never entered the service on active duty. USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against any employee or prospective employee because of past, present, or future membership or application for membership in a uniformed service. There are various notice requirements, time limits, and reemployment rights that Idaho Employment Law Solutions can help the veteran, service member and employer successfully navigate. As Ron Coulter, owner of Idaho Employment Law Solutions, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate, who served his country during the Vietnam Conflict, the first Persian Gulf Conflict, and Operation Restore Hope (the Somalia Relief Effort) Idaho Employment Law Solutions, a minority law firm, takes a special interest in ensuring that service members and veterans are accorded all of their rights under USERRA. Idaho Employment Law Solutions also takes pride in assisting employers in adhering to both the spirit and law encompassed in USERRA.
Employers have the right to receive advance notice of service, unless conditions make it impossible for the employee to do so. The notice may be written or oral. Employers may not insist on knowing exactly when the employee will return to work; however, the employee can be asked to furnish the approximate beginning and concluding dates of his or her training. See the USERRA checklist, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Time Limits for Service:
USERRA establishes a five-year cumulative total on military service with a single employer, with certain exceptions allowed for call-ups during emergencies, for reserve drills and annually scheduled active duty for training, See the USERRA checklist, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). USERRA requires that upon returning from service, members of the armed services and its reserve components be reinstated to their civilian jobs without loss of seniority or benefits and without any break in service for pension purposes.
The law requires employers to reemploy persons returning from military service of 90 days or less to the position in which he/she was employed or would have been employed if his/her employment had not been interrupted by military service. If the military service is 91 or more days, reemployment takes place in the following order of priority: (1) In the job the person would have held had the person remained continuously employed, or a position of like seniority status and pay so long as the person is qualified or can become qualified or (2) In the position of employment in which the person was employed on the date of the commencement of military service if the person is qualified. See the USERRA checklist, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Pay and Benefits:
Although many employers have, nothing in USERRA requires an employer to contribute funds to the employee to make up for the difference in pay that may be lost while the employee is serving on active duty. However, various companies do provide some form of compensation and benefit relief in this area and it varies from company to company.