Military Personnel Employee Disputes | USERRA
Military Employment Law includes protecting those rights and benefits related to an employee who must take leave from their employment due to their military service obligations. Military Employment Law also includes those laws and regulations that protect civilian employees who are employed aboard military installations.
Laws Related to Employees Who Must Take Leave for Military Service
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) is the federal law that governs the protection of the rights and benefits related to an employee who must take leave from their employment due to military service obligations. USERRA requires employers to rehire former employees who serve in the military for five years or less, with certain exceptions. The act also protects the former employee’s insurance, pension and fringe benefits. Under USERRA all employers and all employees are covered regardless of the size of the employer and the number of hours worked by the employee.
There are four main protections under USERRA. First, it guarantees returning veterans a right of reemployment after they complete their military obligation. Second, it prescribes the position to which veterans are entitled upon their return. Third, it prevents employers from discriminating against returning veterans on account of their military service. Finally, it prohibits employers from firing a returning employee without cause within one year of reemployment.
“As a senior civilian government employee on a military base, I found myself facing allegations that threatened my future employment and career. As a result of the allegations, I was temporarily suspended without pay during the investigation. While researching options for representation, I was referred to Gary Barthel by another law firm that understood my need for an attorney with expertise in military and civilian law, who was committed to fighting for my rights. I found Gary Barthel, to be ethical, professional and most importantly to me, compassionate. I was immediately put at ease by Mr. Barthel, and his team, and they always kept me apprised of any updates to my case.”
In order to secure the protections of USERRA, the employee taking leave for military service must provide the employer with proper advance notice of the employee’s military obligation. The employee must also report to the employer or submit an application for reemployment with the required time frame which is determined by the length of the employee’s military service.
One important facet of USERRA is that is supersedes any contract, agreement, policy, plan, practice or state, county or local law or regulation that reduces, limits, or eliminates in any manner any right or benefit provided by USERRA.
In addition to USERRA, state laws also provide similar protections to military members who must take leave to perform their military obligations.
Additionally, The Veterans’ Preference Act (1944) grants an employment preference to certain veterans and their survivors and promotes their job security.
Laws Related to Civilian Employees Who Are Employed on a Military Installation
There are a variety of laws and regulations that govern the rights of a civilian employee who is employed aboard a military installation. The legal protections that apply to a civilian employee vary depending on the employee’s classification. For example, an employee who is classified as a “Non-Appropriated Fund” (NAF) employee, is governed by different laws and regulations pertaining to the protections, benefits and procedures related to the termination of their employment than civilian employees who are classified as “Appropriated Fund” employees. Moreover, there are certain regulations that govern the rights and benefits of NAF employees who transfer to an AF position.
As an Active Duty Servicemember, Veteran, or Department of Defense (DOD) Employee, you should know and understand your rights under the law when it comes to being called to active duty to serve your country. The military and civilian legal systems are not the same. If you find yourself facing legal issues in both the military and civilian legal systems – your rights should be understood. Most military or civilian attorneys cannot represent you simultaneously in both legal systems.
California Military Leave Laws
As an Active Duty Servicemember, Veteran, or Department of Defense (DOD) Employee, you should know and understand your rights under the law. The military and civilian legal systems are not the same. You may be facing charges in both the military and civilian legal systems. Your rights during an investigation stage or before criminal allegations – should be understood. Most military or civilian attorneys cannot defend you simultaneously in both legal systems.
Any employee, former employee, or applicant of the Department of Defense who feels that he/she has been discriminated against may file an EEO complaint. The alleged discrimination must be on the basis of race, color, sex (to include sexual harassment), disability, age (40 or older), sexual orientation, national origin, or religion. The EEO regulations prohibit discrimination on any of these basis, as well as retaliation of any kind for engaging in activities protected by the civil rights statutes or prior EEO activities.
DoD Civilian Employee Disputes
As a DoD civilian employee you may find yourself suddenly being named as the subject of an investigation for an allegation made by one or more employees; or you may feel that you are the victim of unfair treatment by a superior. In either case, you may be facing the threat of an “adverse action” or a “performance based action” that may jeopardize your job.
“Adverse actions” taken by management are based upon misconduct. Examples of adverse actions include: removal of your position; suspension without duties or pay; reduction in pay grade; or reduction in pay.
“Performance based actions” are based on substandard performance. Examples include failure to follow proper procedures, a drug/alcohol related-incident or a medical/disability related issue. Performance based actions may result in demotion or removal of the employee.
Laws and regulations set out the administrative procedures required before adverse or performance based actions are imposed. Employees have a right to respond to and appeal adverse or performance based actions. The laws, regulations and administrative procedures vary depending on the characterization of your employment classification. For example, an employee who is classified as a “Non-Appropriated Fund” (NAF) employee, is governed by different laws and regulations pertaining to the protections, benefits and procedures related to the termination of their employment than civilian employees who are classified as “Appropriated Fund” (AF) employees. Moreover, there are certain regulations that govern the rights and benefits of NAF employees who transfer to an AF position.
Experiencing issues related to your employment?Military Personnel or DoD Civilian Employee, Military Law Center Can Help.
Make sure that you get the right help from a Civilian Military Attorney, in San Diego or Worldwide, built to support your needs. Military Law Center Is Ready to Help You – Right Now. Military Law Center will aggressively advise and defend you – Know Your Military Legal Rights.