According to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), members of the military are entitled to return to their jobs after deployment without any changes to their position. USERRA is intended to shield service members from being fired from their positions for being called to active-duty. If your employer does not comply with the law, you have the right to file a USERRA complaint. Here are the steps you will need to take for your claim.
Verify You Have a Valid USERRA Complaint
Before you can file a complaint, you need to ensure that nothing is being overlooked, and you do have a valid complaint. Your employment lawyer can help you investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim. Your employer may not even be aware of USERRA, which caused them to believe they were legally able to terminate your employment.
Take Informal Action
Many employers and service members don’t know about USERRA protections, or are unsure if it applies. If you can confirm that you have a valid USERRA complaint, you can take informal action to let your employer know of the situation. Most USERRA complaints are resolved informally.
Your employment attorney can serve as a mediator for the discussion between you and your employer. They can help you and your employer determine an appropriate remedy for the complaint. A remedy is an action that will bring your employer into compliance with USERRA.
File a Formal Complaint
If you are unable to gain resolution through informal means, you may need to pursue a complaint with the Department of Labor (DOL). Your lawyer can help you complete and file a complaint for USERRA violations with the DOL. Once you have filed your complaint, you will be referred to your local Director for Veterans Employment and Training (DVET). The DVET will determine if your employer has actually violated USERRA. If they do find this to be true, the DVET will negotiate a resolution to the case.
Unfortunately, DVETs have little power to enforce their decision, so you may still need to file a claim. Depending on the type of employee you are, you will file a claim with different organizations.
- Federal Employee: File an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board.
- State Employee: File an appeal with the state’s court.
- Private Employee: File an appeal with the United States District Court.
Your attorney can help you request your case file from the DOL using a Freedom of Information Act request. Once you have the information regarding your case, including the DVET’s determination of violations and recommended actions, you and your lawyer can work together to present your case in court and fight for a ruling.
Speak With An Attorney Today
Our Atlanta employment lawyers understand the challenges you are facing, which is why it is our honor to represent you and advise you on every step of your USERRA case. At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, we have more than 85 years of collective experience to call upon, and we will try every possible strategy to defend your rights. Let us serve you and help you obtain the remedy you deserve.