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Did you know that if you quit your job to join the military, in most cases, your employer must hire you back when you get out? The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects the job rights of individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions to undertake military service.

January 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm
(1) jeffrey palmer says:

This is an inaccurate statement. In very few and special cases will the employer hold a position for an employee who voluntarily or involutarily quits to join the service. An employer can be held liable for the employee who is a reservist and is called to active duty.

January 5, 2010 at 9:16 am
(2) Doris Appelbaum says:

What they are “supposed” to do and what they actually do are quite different. I interview transitioning military on a regular basis. In most cases, their job has not been kept for them. In many cases, the applicant has newer skills which will make him/her more employable in a different position.

January 5, 2010 at 9:34 am
(3) Tom Pandolfi says:

The employer has to give themback the same or similar job with the same status and pay. Example…they cannot give a returning soldier a job as Vice Principal of a school with the same pay, this is a job of lesser status and has to be returned as a principal. They can hire anyone they want while the soldier is deployed but his job is guaranteed when he returns. They cannot relocate the soldier to another location (unless they closes the factory or transfer the soldier’s entire work group. They can upgrade the soldier to a higher paying job or position but nothing lower or less pay. When the soldier returns, his entire period of deployment is added onto his company seniority. The USERRA Law supersedes any state, company or union contract unless those contracts offer better benefits. For more information about the law and who can help the soldier, go to http://www.ESGR.mil.

January 5, 2010 at 11:27 am
(4) Sarge says:

Ms Appelbaum, you must be a gov worker…you seem to generate a most-positive version of the time-worn reply to Citizen Soldiers who are mobilized. Please elaborate on your last sentence…to wit “In many cases the applicant (one presumes the applicant to mean the soon-to-be released Soldier in search of a job) has newer skills (presumably, skills honed during the period of Active Duty) which will make him/her more employable in a different position.”. Question: When you dispel such sage advice, are you prepared to direct them to the position offering enhanced employability?

That, Ma’m, is the biggest load of dung ever delivered to a Vet…another “well-mannered” shovel of BS thrown in the faces of those who only wish to receive help in a return to normalcy. I don’t know if you’re a so-called decision maker in that comfortable little fifedom in which you reside…rather than providing them with such dead end answers, I would find another way of politely telling them to go to hell.

January 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm
(5) Tom Pandolfi says:

It’s obvious that MS Appelbaum knows nothing about the USERRA Law that protects the soldiers returning from deployment. Her statement that “In most cases, their job has not been kept for them” is totally false. I have been involved with returning military from deployments and the majority have had their jobs waiting for them. This is from when all this started in early 2003 to the present.
Her last statement about the “newer skills which will make him/her more employable in a different position” is also far from the truth. The unimployment rate for Iraq & Afganistatn vets is now at 12%, the highest of any group. I agree with the Sarge…….totally incorrect facts…must be a Democrat. Gets the facts right or don’t say anything, a “wag the dog” spin doctor!

January 7, 2010 at 11:20 am
(6) Jennifer Souka says:

I am a landlord of an active military member. I am unhappy with how my home is being kept and what is being kept on my property. I would like to end the lease. I used a standard lease for that is typically used for a 1 year lease but altered the dates to reflect our lease term. Can I ask this tenant to move out?

January 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(7) The Sarge says:

Ms. Souka, first talk to the tenant, the military member. Failing that, talk to his commissioned leadership, that is, his Company Commander. Failing that, talk to his Battalion Commander. Failing that, talk to the cops.

If that which is being kept on your property is sensitive military equipment, your tenant could be endangering not only you, your family and your property, but also your neighbors.

As an NCO, I always prefered to think that the wayward behavior of young military people was the result of ignorance, or not clearly thinking through a situation, better known as stupidity. Therefore, the axiom by which military leadership evolves is to solve problems at the lowest levels possible. However, as a civilian, you are not bound by this axiom. If you feel threatened or endangered in any way, whatever course of action you choose to undertake, do so with speed and commitment.

January 12, 2010 at 8:57 am
(8) returning soldier says:

I had started to work for a company back un june 2009. In Oct 6 was sent to a 2 1/2 months of training. I started this company as a sales consultant. Before leaving for training we had conversations of a possible promotion to assistant store manager. Upon givin my employer a copy of my orders they were very disapoointed and sad. They tried hard with higher management to help me out. They agreed to hold the position. To my surprise not only had they held the position for me but had promoted me instead of a assit store manager to a Store Manager. I’m very greatful. Even if we have laws that protect us we should always do our best perfomance to leave a good impression. We should lead by example and live by core values. This will ease the decision making process.

January 12, 2010 at 10:07 am
(9) Doris Appelbaum says:

To Sarge and the other naysayers: I am a professional resume writer and career consultant. I have had an audience with the Department of Defense. My specialty is transitioning military. I have been published in two books on that subject and have written articles for several military publications. I am considered to be an expert in my field. I stand by my statement: what is “Supposed” to happen and what really happens are two different things. The fact that so many vets are unemployed is not because they lack skills; it may be that they don’t interview well or because employers have biases.

January 12, 2010 at 10:16 am
(10) Major Jeff says:

Getting the job back is becomeing more rare. Many insurance companies penalize employers that hire prior service or Guard and Reserve members raising both their employment / management practice insurance rates as well as their health care rates. When a service member returns to the job he or she is told that even though the company knows the law, that it refuses to re-hire them with the statement, “So…sue us!” When the service member contacts an attorney, the attorner often advises against the suit saying, “Why would you want to pay $60,000 in attorney’s fees to get a $45,000 per year job back? They’ll only find another way to get rid of you anyway.” Unless the service member is disabled, they are not a protected class under the law and can be legally discriminated against. We need legislation that not only proteccts veterans, Guard and Reserve members from discrimination; we need to provide them with either free legal services or allow courts to award legal fees and penalties to the veteran or service member when the employer is found to have broken the law!

January 12, 2010 at 11:09 am
(11) Sarge says:

Ms. Appelbaum, to dismiss those who’ve been there as naysayers is both short-sighted and unprofessional. The world is full of people who, like yourself, wrap themselves in the cloak “expertism” and, bolstered by the fact that they have authored several articles, view the world through the prism of idealism.

In your previous remarks of 5 Jan, your “…supposed to…actually do…” opening remark all-but acknowledges that employers do indeed flaunt the law (what else is new). After stating the known fact that “in most cases, their job has not been kept for them”, you proceed to place the “happy face” upon the vet’s circumstances by stating the fact that “newer skill” (presumably better than the older skills) make for “more employment in different positions”. In your follow-up remarks, you state that, well, the reason they ain’t got no job is cause they lack interview skills. Employing that logic, one could substantiate the employer’s refusal to place the vet back on the payroll because he doesn’t speak a particular dilect of Farsi.

Ms Appelbaum, with no disrespect intended, you exemplify the typical government workers’ edict “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”. I repeat my previous remark: I don’t know at what level of the hierarchy you reside. I would imagine with your publishing background and “expert label”, you occupy a responsible chair of authority and influence. Given these assumptions, I would suggest you consider dismounting the heights of idealism once in a while and taking an unfiltered view of reality. Only then can your remarks be considered with serious plausibility.

January 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(12) Doris Appelbaum says:

Thank you, Major Jeff. You are totally correct, and thanks to all of the other participants who used their real names and not anonymous titles. You won’t be hearing from me again on this issue; I refuse to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.

BTW, Sarge, the Commander in Chief is a Democrat and I am not a government worker!! I am also a realist, not an idealist.

January 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm
(13) Tom Pandolfi says:

While I am not a lawyer, written books or an officer, I am a veteran and I am a volunteer with the ESGR. We brief soldiers before they are deployed and when they return on the USERRA Law which protects them in returning to the job they left behind and this law works. Getting their job back is far from getting to “becoming more rare”. It is just the opposite and I/we have been involved in many cases. We, ESGR try and work out problems with the employer and if we cannot resolve the problem, it gets turned over to the Federal DOL who has subpoena power and can refer any case to the Dept of Justice….which is rare. There are no punitive damages at our ends. If the soldier elects to go to a lawyer to seek punitive damages, than we and the Fed DOL are out of the picture….that’s the soldier’s choice but between the ESGR & the Federal DOL, the system works. We also give briefings to large corporations, including insurance companies. For the lawyers who just want to turn these matters into law suits and drag these issues out, try offering free legal, which the soldier can get within the chain of command. Most of our briefings are for all militray but few officers “get involved” but not the NCO’s as they want to take care of their men and women. Many of the officers are just like corporate bosses…..have the supervisors take care of it. You can write all the books you want but as the saying goes…unless you walked the walk and experienced it….you don’t know what you are talking about. I have personally talked to thousands of soldiers in Connecticut since all this started in early 2003 and the success rate in our state in returning solders to their civilian jobs is in the high 90′s percentage rate.
Visit any site where you can find the USERRA LAw and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and you will find that the soldier’s rights are more protected now than ever and it’s aways up to the employer to prove they did not discriminate against our military. As a footnote, the soldier is also protected against retaliation by any employer.

January 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm
(14) Russ Houle says:

Ms Applebaum,
I represent a National company looking to employ as many returning military personnel as possible provided they have a “want to work” attitude.
Please respond if you would like further information

January 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm
(15) Glenn Mott says:

Upon return from ODS in 1991 I returned to the USPS with no problems to my regular job as a Letter Carrier. However, after returning injured from OIF in 2003 and unable to work more than one week, my Postmaster tried to remove me from my position (fire me) as unable to perform my duties under disciplinary resons because I was still a member of the National Guard, although not a drilling member, and ETS’s 6 months later. I retired from USPS with 35 years, never returning, never being given the chance to return.

January 21, 2010 at 6:46 pm
(16) Carren says:

Hello Pentagon, in april or may of 2009 I overheard the Cuba president
declare war on the United States of America, China, and Venezuela Are you doing anything
besides consentrating on defending American’s by waiting for your
president who is the commander and cheif of America.Try beating them
off us with your minds by using guns and bombs.

Most American people that I speak with hate most American officers
because they have all these beautiful weapons. Try using (are they in
there ass {brains of course} – use the material weapons against Cuba
by blowing it off the face of the map.)
sign an american woman

ps do you know most of your american offericers are taken over or to
beaten to speak because of Cuba’s concentration war. Including the
other leaders of different countries. Please don’t listen to those
sub lingal messages. Please inform as many officers as possible
to act in there leaders behalf and bomb cuba

January 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm
(17) Margie says:

Guard and Reserve Job Protection for State Employees?

USERRA is a federal law, not enforceable in state court. State employees may only file suit in state courts under state laws, due to state sovereign immunity.

It is rare for DOJ to represent a USERRA case, approximately 30 cases since 9/11 per their web site. ESGR is employer support.

Many states have enacted laws to protect jobs of military servicemembers. Delaware has two military leave laws. 20 Del.C. 905 and 29 Del. C. 5105

Recently a Delaware servicemember’s employment was terminated due to deployment. DOJ declined to represent and the Delaware Supreme Court USERRA lawsuit was dismissed citing lack of court jurisdiction and sovereign immunity.

Delaware Court ruled on 29 Sept 09 that state military leave laws are not enforceable; because the term “any employer” is not defined to include the state as an employer.

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