Today our nation honors our veterans. Of course, considering the sacrifices that have been made since the beginning of our country by our men and women of the military, limiting it to just one day a year doesn’t nearly fulfill our obligation to those who have served.
While many people serve our veterans voluntarily, there are also many laws to be aware of that protect our veterans. From an employment aspect, employers are required to make accommodations based on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), which was created to protect civilian job rights and benefits for veterans and members of Reserve components.
USERRA establishes that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights up to five years. It also provides protection for disabled veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate their disability. In addition, USERRA affords that returning service-members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service (called the “escalator” principle), with the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority.
Even though federal law requires employers to make these accommodations, from a humanitarian standpoint, employers would be best served to go the extra mile when it comes to employees serving in the military. Not only does it benefit the employee, but it is a patriotic gesture which can also create goodwill in the community.
For a check-up on your company’s HR policies, please contact the Employment Law Team at The Foster Group, where you will receive high quality and cost-effective service for all your human resources needs.