Seniority and Benefits Under USERRA


When a service member is called to military duty, losing work benefits shouldn’t be a concern. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), those serving in the military are protected, not only with guaranteed employment upon returning from service, but also in the return of work benefits.

An experienced USERRA attorney, like those at The Cochran Firm South Florida, can evaluate your employment case, if you feel your employer has breached your USERRA rights.

Calculating Seniority Benefits under USERRA

Under USERRA, entitlement benefits determined by workplace seniority are protected. When a service member departs for military leave, seniority is not lost. In fact, seniority remains intact making it as if the member of the Armed Forces never left civilian employment. Other seniority protection under USERRA includes:

  • Vacation – if an employer’s vacation policy is based on seniority, the years spent in military service accrue as if the service member had been in continuous employment.
  • Promotions – if work colleagues have received promotions while the service member has been on military leave, the member does also.
  • Pay – likewise, if peers receive pay raises, so would the service member also qualify for increased wages.
  • For benefits not considered under seniority, the employer must treat the service member on military leave like those employees on leave of absence.

Types of Benefits Considered Under USERRA

Benefits continue accumulating even while a member of the service is on military leave. Those benefits may include all of the following, if typically offered by the employer:

  • Pension plan
  • Health plan
  • Employee stock ownership plan
  • Insurance coverage
  • Bonuses
  • Severance pay
  • Supplemental unemployment benefits
  • Vacations
  • Opportunity to choose work hours or location of employment

If you live in Florida and have had a problem with returning to previous employment after military service, please contact our attorneys at The Cochran Firm’s Florida office. Our uniquely qualified USERRA lawyers are located near you. Please call today to schedule a confidential consultation to determine the facts in your case.