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Leaves of Absence

Service Members Rights & Benefits (USERRA)

The attorneys at Outten & Golden can help military service members, reservists, and veterans to protect and enforce their employment rights and benefits under federal, state, and local laws, including the federal Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), federal and state veteran’s preference laws that help veterans to secure public employment, and promotions.

The federal statute known as USERRA, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, gives employees the right to take leave from their civilian jobs for military service. Under USERRA, once the employee has completed his or her military service, the employer must reinstate the employee (so long as the employee meets certain basic requirements) in the job that he or she would have attained had he or she not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status, and rate of pay, or to a similar position.

USERRA rights of service members, reservists, and veterans

USERRA provides some of the strongest workplace protections under federal law including:

  • Prohibiting workplace discrimination, retaliation, and harassment based on military service or status.
  • Requiring that following employees’ service in the military, employees have the right to be reemployed to their civilian jobs or the jobs the persons would have attained had they not been absent for military service (so long as they meet basic requirements), and the right to receive the rights and benefits associated with that civilian job.
  • Requiring that servicemembers receive pension credits or retirement contributions from a civilian employer after they return from a period of military service.
  • Requiring that servicemembers who are injured or become disabled during a period of military leave be reemployed in any position that they can do with or without a reasonable accommodation by their civilian employers.
  • Requiring that certain employee benefits be continued during military service.
  • Prohibiting employers from terminating employees except for cause following periods of military service.
  • Voiding any laws, employer practices, agreements, or contracts that limit or eliminate any rights or benefits of servicemembers or veterans under USERRA

USERRA applies to virtually every employer in the United States of every size.

Many state laws prohibit discrimination against employees based on their military service or status, and some of these laws provide different and more expansive remedies than the remedies available to persons under USERRA.

Contact USERRA Lawyers

The attorneys at Outten & Golden can help military service members and veterans protect their rights to employment reinstatement and to a safe, fair workplace. If you believe your employment rights under USERRA have been violated, please contact the firm through the “Contact Us" form or by calling us in the New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC office (see bottom of page for phone numbers) to begin the Outten & Golden intake process.

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