During the heightened operational tempo, some of these men and women worked in both the civilian and military capacity, whether in the National Guard, Reserve, or some other capacity. As a result of military obligations, there is often an absence of personnel and/or significant interruptions to a company's work flow. These are just some of the frustrations faced by employers who begin to participate in on the job harassment of protected employees. Nevertheless, a lot of employers as well as their employees are unaware of the protections provided by the Uniformed Services Employment & Re-employment Rights Act better known as USERRA.
USERRA protects the veterans employment in the following areas: (1) promotions, (2) retention, (3) re-employment, (4) new employment, (5) and any benefit of employment. Sadly, many people have seen the USERRA poster and do not realize the true applications of this law.
The rights under this law, which began to emerge in the middle of the twentieth century, but was enacted in 1994 cannot be waived by the employee. This means that if you have signed some document that requested you to waive your rights, that document is worthless, and you should pursue action if necessary.
The tell-tale signs of USERRA discrimination are like most other forms of employment discrimination: (1) temporal proximity from the time of the military obligation to the adverse employment action; (2) inconsistentices between the alleged reason for the adverse employment action vs. the background facts; (3) unfair treatment of "soldier-citizen" population; (4) direct hostility by the employer upon the "soldier-citizen".
Who does USERRA Apply to?
- Applies to nearly all U.S. companies
- No minimum requirement of employees
Who does USERRA protect?
- Any member of the uniformed services
- Anyone who applied to be a member of the uniformed services
- Anyone who has a military obligation
- Anyone performed or applied to perform military service
What must the complainant do?
- Demonstrate that their military obligation had a "substantial or motivating" impact upon the employer's employment decision
- Show how the decision violated worker's rights
This writing does not include all the protections provided under USERRA. For this reason, it is important to contact an attorney who is familiar with USERRA in order to learn if you have a case. Additionally, if you know someone who has been denied re-admittance into an institution of higher learning as a result of a military obligation, please have them contact an USERRA lawyer who wants to protects veteran jobs.