There was a time when it was possible to be called up as a Reservist, and to return home and not have your civilian job waiting for you. This was considered a fact of life, and no one really paid too much attention. This changed in the 1940s, But was updated in 1994 there has been additional safeguards in place to protect ones job while being activated to duty status.
Enacted in 1994 and then updated and improved in both 1996 and 1998, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects your civilian job if you are called to Active Duty. With the USERRA law, if you have to leave civilian sector work on a call to active duty then when you get home from active duty your civilian job has to be made available to you.
You are entitled to seniority that you would have built up had you been at the civilian job as well. The USERRA applies to all employers, including state and local governments, private employers, the Federal Government, and to all civilian employers in general.
The way that the USERRA law reads, the reemployment rights are for anyone that is gone from a position or employment because of Uniformed Service. Service in Uniformed Forces or Uniformed Service? means any service including Active Duty service, Active Duty for training, Inactive duty training, Full time Reserve or National Guard duty, an absence from your place of employment because of service ordered medical exam, Funeral duty performed by the Service Member in question. Most importantly, it covers ALL activation of Reserves and National Guard for service ordered or regular training, or active duty.
Five things are important for the Service member to have met criteria wise. These five things are:
-You have to tell your employer that you are leaving for a service related reason.
-Except for certain exceptions, the period may not be longer than five years.
-When you are prepared to return to your job you have to have been released from Military service in the case of “honorable Conditions.
-You have to have had a civilian job.
-After leaving Active Duty or the Service you have to report back to your employer in a timely manner and ask for your job back or re apply for your job.
Lastly, an employee called up for service cannot, under the USERRA law, be required to use sick time or vacation time while being called to active duty status.