Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Definition

The term Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act refers to a law that protects the jobs of those that take leave from work to participate in the military.  The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) strengthens and clarifies those protections found in the Veterans' Reemployment Rights (VRR) Statute.

Explanation

The Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act is a federal law that establishes certain rights and responsibilities of members of the uniformed services.  This law ensures that individuals that have served, or are serving, in the military (such as the Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard) are not disadvantaged in the workplace.  Generally, the provisions of this law also:

  • Require employers to promptly reemploy individuals upon their return from military duty.
  • Prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals that have served in the military in the past or have applied to serve in the future.

Health and pension plan coverage is also protected by USERRA.  Individuals performing military duty for more than thirty days may elect to continue their employer's health care coverage for up to twenty-four months; premiums can increase to 102% of the cost to provide coverage.  Service of less than thirty-one days is provided as if the employee remained at work.

Note:  Members of the uniformed services are required to provide advance written or verbal notice for all military duty, unless this notice is not possible or precluded for military reasons.  Members of the military are also permitted to use accrued vacation while on active duty.

Related Terms

age discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act, applicant pool, Equal Employment Opportunity, unemployment discrimination