USERRA—Discrimination Based on Military Services
Workplace discrimination can appear in many forms, even against those men and women who have served our country. It is not uncommon for servicemen and servicewomen to be discriminated against when it comes to hiring or maintaining employment. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides protection from discrimination against members of the services.
The employment attorneys at The Cochran Firm are dedicated to recovering the compensation you deserve and holding your employer accountable for any wrongdoings or mismanagement that has caused you suffering.
Employee Rights Under USERRA
The USERRA provides protection to individuals who:
- Are current members of the service
- Apply to be a member
- Performed past duties in the service
- Have an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service
The USERRA states that a person who is involved in the armed forces shall not be denied the following based on membership, application for membership, or past services:
- Initial employment
- Retention in employment
- Any benefit of employment by an employer
Conditions of the USERRA
There are certain conditions that must be met in order for a worker to be protected under this Act. The USERRA states that an employee taking leave under the Act to perform military service is entitled to be re-employed (with reinstatement of benefits), providing that:
- Your total leave must not have exceeded five years (with certain exceptions of course)
- You must have provided proper advanced notice to your employer about your leave
- You must report back to work or submit an application for re-employment within the statutory time frame (determined by the length of your military service)
Protection Against Discharge
Under the USERRA, if you are re-employed after a leave of absence of more than 30 days, you are protected from being terminated (without cause) for a period of time-based on your length of service. For example, you are protected from being fired following your reinstatement for one year, if you served for one year or more. If you have been terminated within this time period, your employer must prove that there was a legitimate reason for this action.