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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - USERRA Advisor

Overview of USERRA

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). See 20 CFR Part 1002.210.

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. It also provides employees with Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

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.

USERRA is administered by the United States Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS). VETS provides assistance to those persons experiencing service connected problems with their civilian employment and provides information about the Act to employers. VETS also assists veterans who have questions regarding Veterans' Preference. For more information, please visit the Veterans’ Preference Advisor.

This USERRA Advisor has been designed to answer questions about the rights and responsibilities for both the employee and employer. For additional information, please contact your local VETS office.

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