Rights and responsibilities of employers and returning military employees will be covered in a free seminar for area business owners.
The Brainerd Job Service Employer's Committee is hosting a seminar Tuesday to provide more details on how the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act affects both sides of employment.
The law is intended to encourage non-career uniformed service and minimize the disadvantages to a worker who is absent from civilian employment to serve the country. Uniformed service typically includes the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, reserves of those forces, Army National Guard or Air National Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
Scenarios include an individual who has a three-year service tour who wants his or her job back. And with the number of people affected in the recent military activations, JSEC officials recently expressed concerned about the light response to the seminar by area employers.
The Department of Labor reports the act significantly strengthens and expands employment and reemployment rights of uniformed service members.
WHERE AND WHEN
The Brainerd Job Service Employer's Committee is sponsoring a free 2 1/2-hour informative seminar on Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act from 9:00 am - 11:30 am. Tuesday at the Camp Ripley Theater.
For more information, contact Cindy Brey 825-6783.
In part, the act applies to people called to active duty, those in training, those providing funeral honors duty or called to intermittent disaster response, and those on full-time National Guard duty.
There are specifics on when an employee has to return after service that are based on the duration of the individual's military service. And specifics on how an employer must reintegrate the worker back to the job.
In most cases, a person who served one to 90 days must be "promptly re-employed." The subsections on the requirements, even in simple lay terms, can be complicated. A non-technical guide to the act stretches across 15 pages.
Generally, the act does not find a difference in rights between voluntary and involuntary service. And in job applications, it is illegal to ask if an individual is in the Guard or reserve on the employment application.
Employers can ask for relief if a worker always seems to be called away to reserve duty. An employee may also join the Guard or reserve after they have accepted a job and an employer is prohibited from adverse employment action against them.
Employers cannot require workers to use vacation while performing military duty, but they must allow an employee to do that if they request it. Employers cannot ask workers to make up time taken off for specific military or reserve or Guard training.
If a replacement is hired while a worker is absent performing military service, the employer must re-employ the returning worker even if it means reassigning the replacement or firing the replacement.
Speakers for the seminar are Capt. Ryan Wedlund, employer support of the Guard and Reserve ombudsman, and Mike Graham, state director of the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service.
USERRA applies to all U.S. employers, regardless of size, both here and overseas. It also applies to public employers, federal, state and local.
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