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Question:

An employee has been called up to the National Guard. How do we handle their leave?

Answer:

Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the employee has leave and job reinstatement rights, meaning you’ll need to rehire them following their service. The employee will also be entitled to both seniority-based benefits (as if they had not been on leave) and to non-seniority benefits (e.g., continuation of life insurance) that employees receive when on non-military leaves of absence.

USERRA also grants returning service members some protection from termination without cause and prohibits employers from retaliating against anyone who exercises their USERRA rights.

The Department of Justice has created an extensive guide on this topic, which you may find useful, here.

Monica Weimar, SPHR, SHRM-CP, has held roles as an HR Generalist and Payroll and Benefits manager at a large ski resort, providing HR guidance to more than 500 employees. She also has HR experience in the healthcare field and the non-profit world. Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Linfield College.