Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): Know Your Rights

Enacted on October 13, 1994, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is an important piece of anti-discrimination legislation that protects the employment of military members when they participate in training exercises or are called into active duty. What’s more, it is a violation of USERRA for employers to discriminate on the basis of past or present military service which includes, but is not limited to, denying employment.

If you are an active or inactive military member and you feel your rights have been violated under USERRA, our employment discrimination lawyers based in Philadelphia can help. If you are unsure if your rights have been violated under USERRA, please take a moment to review this brief guide and contact the Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC with any questions should you need assistance filing a claim.

Who is Eligible for Reemployment Rights?

There are five conditions that must be met in order to be eligible for reemployment under USERRA.

    • Must provide civilian employer verbal or written notice prior to leaving for military service or training.
    • Military leave must not exceed the five-year cumulative limit (exceptions do apply).
    • Must submit an application for reemployment within the statutory time frame.

Additionally, under USERRA, service members are protected from termination without cause for the exact amount of time they left to serve. That means if you left for military service for a total of one year – you will receive protection from discharge for one year.

What are the Employer Responsibilities?

Every employer across the United States is required to comply with USERRA and reemploy any eligible military member to the same or similar position upon their return from service. Furthermore, employers must reacclimate and adapt the returning service member to his or her new position with retraining if needed.

What are Employee Responsibilities?

Under USERRA there are five-time limit categories in which returning service members can apply for reemployment.

If you’ve been away for –

    • Less than 31 days: must apply for reemployment at the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work period. Essentially, the returning member must reapply for their position as soon as possible.
    • 31-180 days: Two weeks after completing military service to reapply for employment.
    • Over 180 days: Up to 90 days after completing military service to reapply for employment.
    • Injury or Illness: Any person suffering from an injury or illness from military service has two years to reapply for employment.

To learn more about civilian rights under USERRA contact our dedicated team of employment discrimination lawyers serving Camden County, today.

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