After military leave, does employee get across-the-board raise instituted while he was gone?

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Last month we reinstated an employee who was on military leave for six months. It’s the same position, with the same pay he received before he went on military leave. Effective Jan. 1, 2010, all employees in his department received a 4% pay raise in recognition for their hard work in 2009. Does the law require us to pay him at this increased rate?

A. Yes. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) requires that an eligible employee be made whole upon return from leave, as if he or she had not taken leave.

If a pay raise is merit- or performance-based, then it must be given upon re-employment if the employee would have attained the raise with reasonable certainty had he or she remained continuously employed. In this case, because all employees in his department received the raise, it is reasonably certain that this employee would have received it, too.

Therefore, he should get the full 4%. You can’t prorate the raise by the time he spent on military leave.

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