Q&A With Zachary A.P. Oubre
Veterans have job rights
Q: What do employers need to know about reinstating military veterans who return from active duty?
A: Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), employers are required to reinstate former vets if they gave proper notice to their employer in advance of their departure; their tour of service was less than five years; they make a timely request for re-employment, accompanied by proper documentation; and their separation from military service was under “honorable” conditions.
Q: Are employers required to rehire veterans for the same position as when they left for active duty?
A: The law requires employers to re-employ veterans in the job they would have attained had they not left for active military duty, with the same seniority, pay and other benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to help returning vets make the transition back to their former jobs at the same proficiency level. In most cases, this means providing training or refresher courses.
Q: What are the penalties for violating the law?