We live in uncertain times, and our main force for military service in the United States has been our volunteer members. A person can serve their country as a Servicemember, on active duty status, or they can choose to serve in the Reserves. For many years serving in the United States Armed Forces Reserves meant ones a month duty, and two weeks TDY each summer, or once a year. Well, with the first Iraq war this all changed. Now, much of our Armed Forces consist of Reservists who are activated, and called to active duty serving their country. We have had job protection for many years for our brave Reserve men and women who are activated. But recently the job protection benefits for Reservists have been strengthened.
These benefits are such that a person who is called to Active Duty who is a Reservist can now rest assured that their job will be there for them when they return to civilian life. This allows a certain peace of mind for your brave soldiers, and gives them the ability to perform and tackle their mission without worrying about their civilian job future. First enacted during World War II, in 1940, the Uniformed Services Employment and Re Employment Act is the legislation that protects a person’s job if they are called to Active Duty. This important legislation was further strengthened in 1994. Congress acted again in 1996 and the year 1998 to add further additions to the USERRA law, protecting the job of any reservist who is called to Active Duty Service.
There are five different things that you have to be sure and meet to make sure you are covered under the law. These five things include: You have to have a civilian job to return to, you have to report back to your employer immediately after being released from active duty, your activation for active duty cannot have been for more than five years, you had to have told your employer that your absence was for military service required reasons, and when you are released from active duty it has to be under “Honorable conditions. As long as you meet these five requirements then you are totally covered under the USERRA law.
You cannot be required to use sick leave or vacation time for any active duty mobilization or call to active duty. This law protects ALL activation for National Guard and Reserve, for short periods as well as lengthy deployments.
Under the law, you are covered no matter the reason as long as it’s a service ordered regular or special duty, for short time, or extended duty active service.