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USERRA - Military Employment Rights

 John is a Navy Veterans and committed to the Employment Rights of Veterans. John currently serves as the Legislative Director of the Washington State Veterans Bar Association. He is a member of the American Legion and John T Law, PLLC is a registered Veterans Owned Business.


 What is Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)? Am I eligible?

1. A member of the military leaves to perform military service; and

2. You gave your employer notice of your service;

3. You were gone from your job for less than 5 years (some exceptions apply).

4. After your deployment or service you attempted to return to your job.

5. You were fired or terminated on account of your military service or you were given a less desirable job.

What is USERRA? what employment rights do service members, national guard and veterans have?

By law, employers have to accommodate their employees who serve in the military and National Guard. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), says that employers must allow National Guard and members of the military to serve their duty, and must NOT force them to resign from the Military. They can NOT ask a soldier, sailor, airman or marine to use their vacation time for military duty. Additionally, public employers and government must pay military differential pay, this is the difference between their pay at their normal job and pay while on active duty.Private companies are not required to pay this.

What rights do I have when I return from deployment?

If a member is deployed, the employer(s) must keep that person's job open for when they return. If the employer cannot give the person back their original job then they must give the service member a job that is similar to the original job.  This means that the service member may NOT be demoted because of military service.

What about disabled veterans?

Disabled veterans are also protected by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodate the disability. Additionally, service members that were injured during service have two years to rehabilitate from the time of discharge.

What is the "Escalator Principal?"

Returning service members must be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent from work because of military service, with the same seniority, status and pay.  USERRA also requires that the employer made reasonable efforts to be made to enable the returning service member to be sucsesful in their quest for reemployment.

When must I return to work?

If the period of service is less than 31 days then you must return to work the next day after you rest for 8 hours. If the period of service is between 31-181 days of service then you have 14 days to report back to work. If you are serving in the military for more than 180 days then you have 90 days to return to work. 

What if my employer does not follow USERRA?

Most employers make a effort to follow the USERRA law and comply with the re-employment requirements.  However, there are exceptions. Some companies and even government agencies violate this law. Sometimes these violations are intentional and sometimes it is just a lack of knowledge on the part of the employer or supervisor. 

John T Law, PLLC has represented service members, guard, reserve and veterans against employers across the country like: police departments, airlines, law enforcement agencies, and private corporations.  If you feel you may be the victim of employment discrimination based on your status as a member of the military please call John T Law, PLLC for a free consultation.

John T Law, PLLC is a veteran owned business located in Bellevue, WA. John is a Navy veteran and assists Service members, veterans, soldiers, active-duty military, National Gaurd and reservists in enforcing their rights to re-employment after service.

Should I hire an attorney if I want to make a USERRA complaint against my employer?

I represent clients across the country that have made complaints against their employers for or been wrongfully terminated. I have represented veterans and members of the military in courts in Washington State and other states across the country.  I work with other attorneys in Washington State and other members of the Washington State Veterans Bar Association and Servicmember Law to create a team of lawyers to represent you. We create a team of attorneys who have all served in the military and are all familiar with the USERRA law to give you the best legal team in the nation.

What can I do to prepare to hire an attorney for my USERRA claim?

The first thing I generally do when evaluating any claim under USERRA is have my client prepare a timeline. Creating a timeline of events is important for me to be able to evaluate your claim of military discrimination.  If you were employed by an employer, then deployed or called to active duty and then not given your original job back then we need to be able to have a detailed timeline to build our case.


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