Today, many employers find themselves with a member of the military on staff. These Reserve soldiers may be members of the National Guard or Reserve forces from any branch of the military – in fact, they comprise approximately 48% of America’s available soldiers. Civilian employers play a significant role in the defense of our nation by how they treat these Reserve soldiers and in the type of workplace environment they create to show support in the time spent away from their jobs to defend the nation.
As more and more soldiers come home and perhaps remain on-call, it is critical that companies understand and abide by the laws that govern our soldiers in these situations. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) is the main law governing the employment rights of employees on military duty.
Here are its core components:
- Upon return from military duty, a veteran or employee who is still in the military is entitled to whatever position he or she would have attained with reasonable certainty if the military service had not occurred.
- A veteran may not be discharged or subjected to adverse employment action for one year after the date of reinstatement, except for cause; the same rule applies to service in the reserves or National Guard.Employers must provide up to 24 months of health plan coverage to employees when they are absent on military leave. When the veteran returns, the employer must immediately cover the veteran under the employer’s health plan, assuming the veteran was covered prior to the leave.
- Seniority under an employer’s pension plan must continue to accrue while the employee is on military duty. To the extent that the employer funds the plan, the employer must continue to fund the employee’s participation in the plan.
- In general, if a benefit having to do with length of service would have accrued with reasonable certainty, had the veteran been continuously employed by the employer, the employer must award the benefit as if the veteran had been continuously employed.
- In general, the employee who returns from military duty must be in the position that he or she would have been in had there been no military service.
LLoyd is proud to work with our nation’s veterans. We have made a commitment to support the employment needs of returning soldiers, veterans and their families as a component of our social responsibility program and good corporate citizenship efforts. These efforts include:
- Making clients aware of government-related incentives and tax credits for hiring veterans and the rights of employees on military duty.
- Periodically holding Military Appreciation Days at LLoyd offices so that veterans, their spouses and other family members can receive appropriate coaching and mentoring for military-to-civilian transitions.
- Offering free Veterans Employment workshops which include resume writing, interviewing, job search advice and and employment resources – and/or working with counselors in the community who serve the veteran population and offering our services as guest speakers to their clients.
- Inviting corporate clients to interview Veteran candidates at LLoyd locations or their offices and offer custom placement options for hiring Vets.
- Participating in or sponsoring Job Fairs targeted at “Hiring Heroes” Veteran-based audiences.
- Partnering with organization or holding independent clothing drives for donations of business suits and other professional looking attire suitable for job interviews for Veterans who may need help acclimating to the civilian workforce.
- Encouraging candidate referrals from Veterans groups or Department of Labor Advisors to provide specific help to Vets needing employment support.
- Collecting items for Care Packages to be shipped to current service members – done on an as needed basis through community outreach and Veteran group networking.
Here are some helpful clickable links/resources
relating to Veterans and Employment…
Happy Veterans Day
Thank you Vets!