Veterans' Reemployment Rights
The job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service are protected under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (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 the United States uniformed services. The Act applies to persons who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the "uniformed services," which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services. Generally, the pre-service employer must reemploy service members returning from a period of service in the uniformed services.
Uniformed service includes active duty, active duty for training, inactive duty training (such as drills), initial active duty training, and funeral honors duty performed by National Guard and reserve members, as well as the period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine fitness to perform any such duty. USERRA covers nearly all employees, including part-time and probationary employees. USERRA applies to virtually all U.S. employers, regardless of size.
Note that USERRA and some equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws prohibit discrimination in employment decisions, such as termination, on the basis of veteran status. USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services and applicants to the uniformed services. Under laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), qualified special disabled veterans, Vietnam era veterans, recently separated veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, are also protected against discrimination. See Termination Issues - Discrimination for additional information.
- USERRA Guide - A non-technical resource guide to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), March, 2003
- USERRA Resource Guide - A non-technical resource guide to USERRA, July, 2004
- Employment Law Guide - Uniformed Service Members - Describes the basic provisions and requirements of reemployment rights and veterans' preference afforded persons who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the uniformed services, which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services.
- elaws Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor - Helps employers and workers understand veterans' employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under USERAA.
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) poster - Notice for use by private and State employers.
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) poster - Notice for use by Federal agency employers.
- Uniformed Services Employment and
Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) - Mandates that certain persons who serve
in the armed forces have a right to reemployment with the employer they were
with when they entered service. This includes those called up from the reserves
or National Guard. USERRA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
- 20 CFR Part 1002 - Final regulations issued December 19, 2005 that implement the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, as amended (USERRA). This rule, which explains the employment and reemployment rights and benefits of service members who are returning to civilian life, is effective on January 18, 2006.
- 20 CFR Part 1002 - Final regulations issued December 19, 2005 that implement the notice requirements of the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004 (VBIA). This rule is effective on January 18, 2006 and replaces the interim final rule of March 10, 2005.
- The Family and Medical Leave Act - Provides information on the effects of USERRA on leave eligibility under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- See also Hiring Issues - Equal Employment Opportunity.
- Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365) (1-866-487-2365) or 202-693-4770
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.