How Does USERRA Relate to Employer Practices?


Employers unfamiliar with USERRA may be caught unaware when a member of the Armed Services returns from military duty. The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that provides protection for employees seeking reinstatement of their past civilian work.

When an employment injustice occurs, service members can learn more about their rights by contacting a qualified USERRA attorney, like those at The Cochran Firm South Florida.

Employee Benefits Covered During Military Leave

USERRA guarantees that the employment of service members is not the only thing protected; the benefits of employment are also maintained. Some of the benefits protected by USERRA include:

  • Wages –USERRA requires employers to provide pay to service members during their unpaid time off.
  • Health Care – if military leave is less than 30 days, employers are required to continue health coverage as if the person were currently employed.
  • Pension Benefits – when under military leave, an employee’s pension benefits will be treated as if they have remained in continuous employment.
  • Seniority-based Benefits – these include vacation accrual and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility.

Service Member Responsibilities under USERRA

In order to receive full protection under USERRA, an employee must meet several requirements including:

  • The employee or a service officer in which the employee serves is required to give the employer advance written or oral notification that the employee will be absent due to military service.
  • The length of the employee’s absence may not exceed a cumulative length of five years. In some circumstances, this five-year period may be extended, if release orders cannot be obtained prior to the expiration of the five-year period.
  • An employee must meet the time limits specified in the law for re-employment.
  • A service must obtain a favorable discharge.

If you feel that you’ve suffered an injustice at the hands of your employer due to your military service, please contact The Cochran Firm Florida. One of our experienced USERRA attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case.