Our men and women in uniform risk life and limb for our country. They should not have to risk their jobs because of their service. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that protects the reemployment rights of service members after returning from active duty service (voluntary or involuntary), including those called from the reserves and the National Guard. Specifically, service members have the right to be reemployed in their civilian jobs if they leave the job to serve in the military. It is important to know that there are requirements related to providing notice to the employer, the amount of cumulative military service of the employee, promptly returning to work and disqualifying discharges. Because of these requirements, it is important to speak with an attorney at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens as soon as you believe that you need to exercise your rights under USERRA.
What do Military Rights Protect?
USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their military service or related obligations. Workers are protected if: (1) they are past or present members of the uniformed service; (2) they applied for membership in the uniformed service; or (3) they are obligated to serve in the uniformed service. For those protected, employers may not engage in any of the following adverse employment actions due to any of the three protected military statuses:
- Failure to hire
- Fail to reemploy
- Fail to retain in the service member’s prior job position
- Fail to promote
- Reduce pay
- Cut Health Benefits
Because every employment situation is different, there could be other types of adverse employment actions that would violate the anti-discrimination protections under USERRA. In addition to these protections, USERRA permits those leaving their jobs for military service to elect continuation of their employer-based healthcare plan (both for the employee and dependents) for up to 24 months while serving in the military.
Like many other employee-protection laws, employers may not retaliate against anyone (even workers that have no connection to the uniformed services) that provides assistance in the enforcement of any USERRA rights. This includes testifying or making a statement in connection with any USERRA proceeding.
Orlando Military Rights Law Firm
Florin Gray Bouzas Owens is dedicated to protecting the rights of our men and women in the military. Please understand that there are several requirements and protections under USERRA. If you would like to discuss any USERRA-related issues, please contact our Orlando and Tampa Military Rights Lawyers for a free consultation or call us at 727-254-5255.
If you would like more information about USERRA, you can visit the Department of Labor’s website.