USERRA Protects the Workplace Rights of Military Veterans
In order to protect the jobs of our nation’s military, Congress passed the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). This law protects military veterans from discrimination based on their service to the country. Oftentimes, returning from combat can be difficult for military veterans. Many veterans return with physical disabilities and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. The last thing a military veteran should have to worry about is keeping their job. Unfortunately, many employers discriminate against veterans once they have returned from war. The veteran may find that their job has been taken away or that their former employer does not want to re-hire them. Fortunately, USERRA provides protection and recourse for these brave warriors.Under USERRA, Employees Returning From Military Service Must be Re-hired
If you are a member of the National Guard or the Reserves you will often be leaving your civilian job when called up for military service. If this happens, USERRA requires that your employer re-hire you for your job upon returning from service. An employer must hold your job for up to five years, so if you serve a time period shorter than that your job should be made available to you upon your return. Another important aspect of USERRA is that an employee must be sure to give their employer notice of their deployment or call to service. If proper notice is not given, the employer may not be required to preserve your job.Employers Cannot Discriminate on the Basis of Military Status
If you are already a member of the military when you apply for a job an employer cannot deny you work based on your military status. The USERRA law provides powerful measures for veterans to take if they are denied a job on the basis of being in the military or being a veteran. Some things to look out for when applying for a job is if an employer asks excessive questions regarding your military service or gives you a reason to believe that they denied you the job based on your military status. If you believe that you were singled out or not hired because of your military service you should contact Pometto Law and discuss the situation with our firm.Disabled Veterans Must be Provided Accommodations
The USERRA law also includes protection for disabled veterans. If a veteran or reservist returns from duty with a disability her prior employer must provide accommodations so that she can perform her job. This may mean making adjustments to her desk, installing wheelchair friendly entrances or providing other equipment that makes up for the veteran’s disability. An employer who does not provide accommodations faces strict penalties under USERRA and any disabled veteran who has not been provided accommodations should contact Pometto Law for a free consultation.Conclusion
Active members of the military and military veterans sacrifice blood, sweat and tears to protect our country. They should not have to worry about losing their job back home. The USERRA laws passed by Congress protect veterans by providing recourse against employers who would discriminate against them. If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your military status call Pometto Law to see if we can help. Standing up for veteran’s rights is a service that we proudly provide to those who protect and serve.