Run supervisors through some basic training on strict military-leave law. Why? More than 168,000 National Guard and reservists are currently on active duty and Congress is considering changes that would tighten requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA).
Counsel managers to be supervigilant against letting an employee's military-related absences color their assessment of the employee's job performance.
Recent case: After the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Guard required reservist Mike Mills to attend weekend drills. Mills' employer told him to "get out of it, or else." He tried, but he was denied. Upon returning from his next Guard training, Mills was fired, allegedly because of an earlier truck accident. He sued, claimingin violation of USERRA. The court sided with Mills, saying his reservist status could have been a "motivating factor" in his firing. (Mills v. Earthgrains Baking Companies Inc., No. 3:03-CV-182, E.D. Tenn., 2004)
For more advice on complying with USERRA, access our free report,Laws: An Employer's Guide, at www.hrspecialist.net/ .