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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, San Francisco or Washington, DC office (see bottom of page for phone numbers) to begin the Outten & Golden intake process.

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Related Cases

Savage v. Federal Express Corp.

Status:
Resolved
Updated:

In 2014, Kenneth E. Savage filed a lawsuit alleging that Federal Express Corp. violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) by failing to provide him with the required pension credits.

In the district court, Federal Express was granted summary judgment...

State of Washington and the Washington State Patrol—Approximately $15 million Class Settlement

Status:
Resolved
Updated:

In January 2014, Christina Martin filed a class action lawsuit in Washington Superior Court alleging that the Washington State Patrol (“WSP”) has failed to provide military veterans with a veterans preference that is guaranteed under Washington State law when veterans apply to become WSP...

News

American Airlines Can't Defeat Military Benefits Suit

Law360 - Adam Lidgett

A Pennsylvania federal judge has refused to ground the bulk of a proposed class action accusing American Airlines of violating federal anti-discrimination law by failing to give pilots credit for short stints of military leave when calculating profit-sharing awards.

Defense Contractor Accused of Slighting Reservists in Hiring

New York Times—Noam Scheiber

A motion to settle a class-action lawsuit he brought against the company was filed in a federal court in Washington State. As part of the proposed deal, the company has agreed to pay a total of $1.35 million to Mr. Kay and up to about 250 qualified reservists who have applied for jobs since 2011 but weren’t hired.

Military Reservist and Defense Contractor L3 Technologies Seek Court Approval of USERRA Class Action Settlement

Outten & Golden LLP

Proposed Class Action Settlement Provides Compensation to Reservists for Claims They Were Denied Pilot Positions by L3 and Revises Corporate Practices to Benefit Reservist Applicants and Employees