As an employer, manager or supervisor, or human resource professional interacting with members of the Reserve or National Guard, you need to be familiar with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994. USERRA is the federal law that establishes rights and responsibilities for members of the Reserve and National Guard and their civilian employers. USERRA affects employment, reemployment, employment benefits and retention in employment, when employees serve or have served in the uniformed services.
If you have an employee who is a member of the Reserve or National Guard, at some point in time he or she will take a leave from work for military training or deployment. To help you consider how to proceed during this time, read our handout on Planning for Military Leave for Employees in the Reserve and National Guard (Handout).
We recommend creating a company policy regarding military leave. This type of policy will give managers or supervisors and employees the guidelines they need to operate. See our Example of a Military Leave Policy (Handout) used by a federal agency.
VA for Vets offers a variety of resources, materials, and webcasts that address different phases of a military Service Member’s experience at work, including pre-deployment, deployment, post-deployment, and reintegration. Materials are created for VA employees, but may be helpful to those in other settings as well. Materials are available for supervisors and HR professionals.
Check out the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)*. The ESGR operates programs directed toward U.S. employers, employees, and communities to ensure understanding of the role of Reserve component members. Their resources can aid in answering questions you may have after hiring a member of the Reserve or National Guard and include tips for employers, an Employer FAQ, Resource Guide, Fact sheet, and USERRA trainings.
Check out this USERRA 101 Training, The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advanced e-Learning Course*.