Members of the military who are called away from their civilian careers should not come home to discover that they have no job. Likewise, former service members should not be punished for the time they spent serving their country. To prevent this, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits employment discrimination due to military service and protects service members’ employment rights and benefits. At Aviso Law, we fully understand the importance of USERRA and can use that knowledge to help ensure that our military clients are fully rewarded and appreciated at work for service to their country. Our Colorado Springs employment law attorneys are experts in USERRA, and we have the experience, skill and client-focused approach needed to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
USERRA prohibits employment discrimination against a person on the basis of past military service, current military obligations or intent to serve. An employer must not deny initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion or any benefit of employment to a person on the basis of a past, present or future service obligation.
If you leave your civilian job to perform qualified military service, USERRA generally requires your employer to rehire you upon return from military duty. In order to take advantage of this benefit, you are usually required to notify your employer before your service obligations begin and promptly apply for reinstatement upon the conclusion of your military duties.
While different rules may apply based on your length of absence and other circumstances such as illness or injury, if you gave proper notice and applied for reinstatement upon your return, your employer is required to reinstate you unless they can prove that it is impossible, unreasonable or would otherwise cause them an undue hardship to rehire you.
USERRA also ensures that service members are not placed at a disadvantage when it comes to promotions and benefits. Seniority rights and benefits possessed at the time your military service started should be guaranteed, as well as any additional seniority-based rights and benefits that you would have attained had you remained continuously employed. An example of this sort of benefit is an automatic pay raise all employees are given after a certain period of time.
In some cases, you may be entitled to a promotion upon your return. If it is reasonably certain you would have received a promotion had you not been called to duty, you are generally entitled to that promotion upon your return, provided you are qualified for the new position or can be trained for the position.
Who is covered?
USERRA applies to all persons who serve or served, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the “uniformed services,” which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service commissioned corps and the reserves of each of these services. Those who underwent Federal training or service in the Army National Guard or Air National Guard are also generally covered and protected by USERRA.
USERRA requires all private employers and all federal, state, and local governments to comply with the terms outlined in the act but the law applies differently in different situations. Because of this, it is important to take USERRA issues to lawyers experienced in the area. As current reservists in the military, experienced Judge Advocates and skilled USERRA attorneys, we at Aviso are the best choice. Our representation is individualized and effective, and we have the ability to aggressively advocate for our military clients and help them receive the benefits they deserve.