Administrative Information
 

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service or certain types of service in the National Disaster Medical System. USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services, and applicants to the uniformed services.

Under USERRA:

  • You have the right to be reemployed in your civilian job if you leave that job to perform service in the uniformed services, and (1) you ensure that your employer receives advance written or verbal notice of your service; (2) you have five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed service while with that particular employer; (3) you return to work or apply for reemployment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and (4) you have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than honorable conditions. If you are eligible to be reemployed, you must be restored to the job and benefits you would have attained if you had not been absent due to military service, or, in some cases, a comparable job.
  • If you are a past or present member of the uniformed services, have applied for membership in the uniformed services, or are obligated to service in the uniformed services, then an employer may not deny you initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment because of this status. In addition, an employer may not retaliate against anyone assisting in the enforcement of USERRA rights, including testifying or making a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even if that person has no service connection.
  • If you leave your job to perform military service, you have the right to elect to continue your existing employer-based health plan coverage for your eligible dependents for up to 24 months while in the military.
  • If you do not elect to continue coverage during your military service, you have the right to be reinstated in your employer’s health plan when you are reemployed, generally without any waiting periods or exclusions (for example, pre-existing condition exclusions) except for service-connected illnesses or injuries.
  • Service members may be required to pay up 102% of the premium for the health plan coverage. If coverage is for less than 31 days, the service member is only required to pay the employee share, if any, for such coverage.
  • USERRA coverage runs concurrently with COBRA and other state continuation coverage.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of USERRA violations.

For assistance in filing a complaint, or for any other information on USERRA, contact VETS at 1-866-4-USA-DOL or visit its website at www.dol.gov/vets. If you file a complaint with VETS and VETS is unable to resolve it, you may request that your case be referred to the Department of Justice for representation. You may also bypass the VETS process and bring a civil action against an employer for violations of USERRA. The rights listed here may vary depending on the circumstances. 

You should contact Human Resources immediately upon being called to active duty. A Human Resources Business Partner will assist you with benefit plan continuation, reemployment, and other issues related to your military service.