Philadelphia Employment Law Lawyers
Military Leave Rights
The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to begin military service. The USERRA also prohibits employers from discriminating against past and present members of the uniformed services and applicants to uniformed services.
If you are a past or present military member and feel as though your employer has acted in a discriminatory fashion, here are some questions you may have:
What are my re-employment rights?
You have the right to be re-employed in your civilian job if you leave that job to perform service in the uniformed armed forces if you:
- Give your employer advance written or verbal notice of your service;
- Have five years or less of accumulated service in the armed service while with a particular employer;
- Return to work or reapply for re-employment in a timely manner after conclusion of your service; and
- Have not been separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under any other than Honorable conditions.
If you are eligible to be re-employed you must be restored to the job and benefits, which you would have obtained if you had not been absent due to your service to the military.
Is it illegal for any employer to discriminate against me because of my military service?
If you are a past or present member of the military; have applied for membership in uniformed services; or are obliged to serve in the military, then your employer may not deny you:
- Initial employment;
- Retention and employment;
- Promotion; or
- Benefit of any employment.
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 the USERRA, even if that person has no service connection.
Can my employer discontinue my health coverage?
If you leave your job for military service, you have the right to elect continuing or existing employer-based health plan coverage for you and your family for up to 24 months while in the military. Even if you don’t elect to continue coverage during your military service, you have a right to be reinstated in your employer’s health plan when you are generally re-employed without any waiting period or exclusions, e.g. pre-existing condition (except for service connected illness or injuries).
What can I do if I have been unlawfully treated?
There are two ways you can enforce your rights under the USERRA. One is filing a Complaint with the US Dept. of Labor, Veterans Training and Employment and Training Services (VETS). They are authorized to investigate and resolve complaints for such violations. You may also bypass the VETS process and bring a civil action claim against an employer for violation of the law. If you have any questions concerning your rights under the USERRA, contact us for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Philadelphia employment law attorneys.
Contact the Experienced Philadelphia Discrimination Attorneys at Galfand Berger
If you or a loved one believes that you have a claim for discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, we are happy to answer your questions and have one of our Philadelphia employment lawyers review your case for free. Please call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) or complete our short contact form and a member of our firm will contact you.
With offices in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Bethlehem and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And, remember, there is no fee unless we recover for you.