To Iraq and back - The legal rights of returning soldiers

As the U.S. wraps up combat operations in Iraq, the remaining 50,000 U.S. troops will be heading home and returning to work. Now is the time to brush up on your awareness of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) and your legal responsibility to soldiers returning from military leave.

USERRA, which applies to both active duty and reserve members of the military, is the primary federal law governing the employment and reemployment rights of service members. USERRA requires you to reinstate employees upon completion of service; to grant the same seniority, status, pay and applicable benefits an employee would have earned if not called to duty; and to train or otherwise qualify returning employees for reemployment. Keep in mind, too, that when state and federal laws regarding military leave conflict, you must follow USERRA and provide the maximum advantages available.

USERRA requirements are tricky for many employers. In fact, a 2010 poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that only 9 percent of respondents were “extremely familiar” with USERRA, while 52 percent claimed to be “somewhat familiar” and an alarming 39 percent of respondents claimed to be unfamiliar with the law.

We can help. With our automatic poster replacement service, you can be certain you’re displaying the latest, mandatory USERRA information via the Federal Easy-Post™ labor law poster. G.Neil also offers an easy-to-read, downloadable E-Guide that clearly explains the USERRA regulations and your legal obligations.

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Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 makes some changes to USERRA

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