Military Leave & USERRA Rights

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) was signed into law on October 13, 1994. USERRA clarifies and strengthens the Veterans’ Reemployment Rights (VRR) Statute. The Act itself can be found in the United States Code at Chapter 43, Part III, Title 38. The Department of Labor has issued regulations that clarify its position on the rights of returning service members to family and medical leave under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

USERRA is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when that person needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. USERRA makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law and improving enforcement mechanisms.

USERRA covers virtually every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers. The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefits, and can seek employment free from discrimination because of their service. USERRA provides protection for disabled veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability.

Remedies can include and are not limited to back pay, lost benefits, corrected personnel files, reinstated promotion opportunities, retroactive seniority, pension adjustments and restored vacation.

If you have been fired, demoted, or denied a promotion upon your return from military service, please contact our office to discuss your legal rights.