The employment rights of individuals who voluntarily or
involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service are
protected under the Uniformed Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). USERRA is intended
to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when that person
needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in the United
States uniformed services. The Act applies to persons who perform duty,
voluntarily or involuntarily, in the "uniformed services," which include the
Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service
commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these
services. Generally, the pre-service employer must reemploy service members
returning from a period of service in the uniformed services.
Uniformed service includes active duty, active duty for training,
inactive duty training (such as drills), initial active duty training, and
funeral honors duty performed by National Guard and reserve members, as well as
the period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the
purpose of an examination to determine fitness to perform any such duty. USERRA
covers nearly all employees, including part-time and probationary employees.
USERRA applies to virtually all U.S. employers, regardless of size.
Note that USERRA and some equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws
prohibit discrimination in employment decisions, such as termination, on the
basis of veteran status. USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against
past and present members of the uniformed services and applicants to the
uniformed services. Under laws enforced by DOL's Employment Standards Administration's Office of
Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), qualified special disabled
veterans, Vietnam era veterans, recently separated veterans, and veterans who
served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a
campaign badge has been authorized, are also protected against discrimination.
See Discrimination for additional
DOL Web Pages on This
USERRA Guide (PDF)
non-technical resource guide to the Uniformed Services Employment and
Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) (March 2003).
A non-technical resource guide to USERRA (July 2004).
Employment Law Guide
Uniformed Service Members
Describes the basic provisions and
requirements of reemployment rights and veterans' preference afforded persons
who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the uniformed services,
which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public
Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of
Job Rights for
Veterans and Reserve Component Members
elaws Uniformed Services Employment
& Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor
Helps employers and
workers understand veterans' employee eligibility and job entitlements,
employer obligations, benefits and remedies under USERAA.
Laws & Regulations on This
Uniformed Services Employment
and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
Mandates that certain persons who
serve in the armed forces have a right to reemployment with the employer they
were with when they entered service. This includes those called up from the
reserves or National Guard. USERRA is administered by the U.S. Department of
Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).