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Supporting Your Employees in the Reserve & National Guard

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.


Need some guidance on what to do when employees leave to serve in the Reserve or National Guard?

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).

Need an example of a company policy regarding military leave?

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.

Looking for additional resources for supervisors, HR professionals, or coworkers?

VA for Vet logo with the "E" designed as the American Flag in the star. 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.

Need assistance in understanding your responsibilities under USERRA? Need an ombudsman or consultation?

ESGR logo in dark blue with the "E" designed as the American Flag. 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.

  • The USERRA Resource Page* includes information, handouts, trainings, FAQ, sample letters for use with employees, links to support, and other information.
  • The main Employer Resources* page can direct you to a variety of wonderful resources, including: Employer Resource Guide* to orient you to the resources available from ESGR

Looking for additional training in USERRA?

Check out this USERRA 101 Training, The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advanced e-Learning Course*.

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Check out the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)* webpage for resources on hiring and supporting employees who are members of the National Guard or Reserve.

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*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs web site. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.