USERRA Protects Military Service Members Rights to Civilian Employment

On Veterans Day we honor those who have served in the Armed Forces as well as those who have fallen protecting the country.  Currently, nearly 19 million veterans live in the United States, with an estimated 10.8 million veterans in the work force. In order to protect military service members’ right to employment, and to return to their jobs following active duty service, Congress enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).  This law is designed to ensure military service members – including those in the National Guard and reserve – can leave their jobs to serve, and not worry that their job will be gone when they get back.   USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against people who have served in the Armed Forces, Reserve, National Guard or other Uniformed Service.

USERRA applies to nearly all employees – including part time workers – and to nearly all employers.

If your employer fails to abide by USERRA, it may be possible to obtain compensation such as lost wages and damages.  Further, in the future, employers may face even steeper penalties for violating the employment rights of military service members.  This past October Senator Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) introduced a bill seeking to strengthen USERRA by allowing the Department of Justice to take legal action against employers who fail to give jobs back to Uniformed Service members after they’ve served.

For more information about USERRA, or if you believe that your employment rights have been violated, please contact the experienced Atlanta employment discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.