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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 the uniformed services.

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:

  • You give your employer advance written or verbal notice of your service;
  • You have five years or less of accumulated service in the armed service while with a particular employer;
  • You return to work or reapply for re-employment in a timely manner after conclusion of service; and
  • You have not been separated from the service with a disqualifying discharge or under other than Honorable conditions.

If you are eligible to be re-employed you must be restored to the job and benefits, which you have obtained if you had not been absent due to the military service.

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 uniformed services; have applied for membership in uniformed services; or are obliged to serve in the uniformed services,  then your employer may not deny you:

  • Initial employment;
  • Re-employment;
  • Retention and employment;
  • Promotion; or
  • Any 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 re-employed generally without any waiting period or exclusions exist, 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 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.

Awards and Recognition

Galfand Berger, LLP

Attorney Advertising Materials. Wayne A. Hamilton is responsible for the content of this website. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

We serve clients in Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Reading, throughout Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, Pa.

We work to protect the rights of clients who have been injured as a result of car accidents, defective products, unsafe equipment and machinery, workplace accidents, medical malpractice and any other serious injuries or accidents.

Galfand Berger LLP is located in Philadelphia, PA and serves clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Wynnewood, Philadelphia, Narberth, Gladwyne, Elkins Park, Cheltenham, Wyncote, Upper Darby, Ardmore, Glenside, Lafayette Hill, Havertown, Haverford, Flourtown, Darby, Oreland, Jenkintown, Drexel Hill, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County.

Contact Info
Phone: 1-800-222-USWA (8792)

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