USERRA protects those who left military years ago, too

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Employers that use an employee’s long-ago military service against him may be liable under the USERRA, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA isn’t just for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remind supervisors that prejudice against former service members is no different than other forms of illegal discrimination.

Recent case: Charles Johnson was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1987. He took a job as a driver with
a private company in September 2008 and was fired for poor performance in November 2008. Johnson sued, alleging that his former employer violated USERRA by firing him, allegedly because he was a former soldier.

The court dismissed his case because he couldn’t prove that his employer used his past service against him—although the court said in the right case, USERRA does protect former soldiers against discrimination based on their past service.(Johnson v. VGA Group, et al., No. 08-14987, ED MI, 2009)

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