Q. Several of our employees are in the Army Reserve or are on long-term leave due to military deployment. What rules apply?
A. In addition to your company’s leave policies, be aware of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA prohibits discrimination against a past or present member of the uniformed service, including the armed forces, Reserves, National Guard and anyone who has applied for membership in a uniformed service.
It does so by protecting civilian employment rights and benefits for military personnel if they give their employers advance notice of their.
Subject to some exceptions, an employee may be absent from work for military duty and retain re-employment rights for up to five years. Returning service members must be re-employed in the job they would have attained had they not been absent for military service—with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority.
USERRA also requires employers to make reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for re-employment.