The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 otherwise known as USERRA is Federal Law enacted under President Bill Clinton. USERRA superseded the Veteran’s Reemployment Rights Act and provides further protections for civilian employees who serve or have served for the armed forces.
Generally, USERRA provides service men the retention of
employment rights for up to five years while they are deployed. USERRA, as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) also require employers to accommodate a disability that resulted from injuries received during duty.
USERRA requires compliance from all employers in the United States. This includes all branches of government including, Federal, State, Local, Private and even Foreign Companies operating within the United States and all U.S. employers conducting businesses in foreign countries
The law also provides that a returning service-person is to be reemployed in the job that they would or could have attained had they not been absent from their job due to their military service, with the same benefits, seniority, status, and pay. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts for training and education be made to enable a returning service person to learn or enhance their skills to help qualify them for reemployment in the civil world.
Most litigation of USERRA claims is handled in Federal Court and pertain to the anti-discrimination provisions of USERRA. Indeed, USERRA protects service men from being discriminated when they are deployed or deployable. For instance, an employer may not discriminate against a reservist who, because of his military duties, inconveniences his or her employer for not having enough face time at work, or for inconveniencing the employer’s schedule. This includes discrimination in the form of a hostile work environment, hiring, re-hirings and promotions.
The laws under USERRA are very technical and require careful compliance by the service persons in order for them to be enforceable. If you have a USERRA question or issue it is very important to contact an experienced attorney for guidance and advice. A lawyer who has a track record in litigating USERRA claims and who is board certified in labor and employment law is your best bet in choosing the proper attorney.
Maurice Arcadier, Esq. managing partner of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC has experience in USERRA cases and is board certified by the State of Florida as a labor and employment law attorney.