Employment protections for returning servicemembers: part two

In our last post we discussed some of the difficulties that our nation's military veterans and servicemembers face as they return from service, reenter civilian life and try to get back into the workforce. The growing trend of longer deployments in the military means that those who serve our country are taken off the job market for significant periods of time, which can make it more difficult for them to regain employment.

Fortunately, as we discussed, military servicemembers also enjoy some federal employment protections. We introduced the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Act, or USERRA, which covers all employers, regardless of size and whether they are public or private.

To qualify under USERRA, an employee must show that he or she gave the employer advance notice of the military service, had less than five years or less of cumulative service during their employment, has timely returned to work or reapplied for employment and has only been discharged from service under honorable circumstances.

In addition to these protections, many states are beginning to consider or pass laws that prohibit discrimination against the unemployed. During the economy's slow recovery many employers have begun to advertise positions that require a person to already be employed, which is facing backlash.

If you have faced unfair treatment in the workplace - whether in the form of employee discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations or another employment dispute - the result can have a lasting impact. It may be wise to meet with an experienced employment law attorney who can work with you to understand your situation, recommend the best course of action and help you protect your interests - and your career.

Source: The Connecticut Post, "Employment rights of returning military personnel," Feb. 15, 2013

To learn more about employment law in California, please take a look at our website.

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