Some employers do not hire, promote or retain employees who might miss work because of military service. Fortunately for those Servicemembers, there is a federal law known as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301, et seq., which provides them with some protections.
Generally, USERRA, has three primary protections:
Who Is Protected/What is Service in the Uniformed Services?
The phrase "service in the uniformed services" means the performance of duty on a voluntary or involuntary basis in a uniformed service under competent authority and includes active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty training, full-time National Guard duty, State active duty for a period of 14 days or more, State active duty in response to a national emergency declared by the President under various Acts, a period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any such duty, and certain other duties. 38 U.S.C. § 4316(13).
What Might Be Recovered in a Successful USERRA Claim?
A prevailing Servicemember in a USERRA case may recover lost wages, benefits, reinstatement and injunctive relief. 38 U.S.C. § 4323(d). USERRA also provides that liquidated damages in an amount equal to lost wages and benefits may be awarded for “willful” violations of the law by the employer. 38 U.S.C. § 4323(d)(1)(B) & (e). It is also possible to recover legal fees. 38 U.S.C. § 4323(h)(2).
This webpage should not be considered legal advice. Contact the Vaught Firm for a no cost initial consultation to learn more about the applicable law relative to your specific situation. The content of this page is based on federal law.