Forget the image of the "weekend warrior" serving one weekend a month and two weeks a year in the National Guard or Reserves. Uncle Sam wants your employees, and he's taking more than ever.
It doesn't matter how many employees you have. The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 protects all reservists' jobs while they are on duty. You don't have to keep paying reservists, but you can't fire them, demote them or cut their benefits while they're on leave.
The U.S. Labor Department also is taking enforcement seriously. In a recent deployment of 700 National Guard troops from Texas to Bosnia, Labor went after 28 employers for alleged USERRA violations. That followed dozens of other complaints that were mediated away.
One bit of good news: Leave times will soon be shrinking. Army officials announced last month that overseas deployments for each reservist will be capped at six...(register to read more)