US Departments of Labor, Justice reaffirm commitment to protect employment rights of service members, veterans
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S Department of Justice today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm their commitment to administer and enforce the protections afforded to military service members and veterans by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.
USERRA is the federal law that establishes the rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers. The memorandum renews one between the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
“The Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service has worked collaboratively with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division for a long time to protect service members’ and veterans’ employment and reemployment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for Veterans’ Employment and Training James Rodriguez. “This memorandum of understanding further cements the department’s long-standing relationship with the Department of Justice to ensure that service members, veterans and employers fully understand their respective rights and obligations under the law. Together, we will continue to act swiftly if and when those rights are compromised to make those affected whole.”
“Service members and veterans have made great sacrifices to guarantee the freedoms and liberties that all Americans enjoy,” said U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “They are guaranteed the right to civilian employment free from discrimination based on their military service and prompt reemployment following their military deployments. Through our strong partnership with the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service we will continue to identify Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act claims, prosecute employers who violate the law, seek relief for victims and fight to eliminate discrimination based on military service from the workplace.”
The renewed memorandum memorializes long-standing procedures and updates protocols and procedures for investigations and referrals, and for information sharing. It also serves to assure service members and veterans that trends in violations may be identified and remediated more readily, and that compliance programs will continue to be enhanced through greater efficiencies and improved processes.