Military Service Member Job Protections
People who volunteer to serve in the military make great sacrifices to defend us. To honor their service, there are laws that protect their jobs when they are called up for service by a branch of the U.S. armed forces or by the State of New Hampshire.Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
Veterans and members of the active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces receive protection under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Under USERRA, employers must promptly reemploy returning service members to the same positions that they would have attained had they not taken leave from work for military service. They are entitled to the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority that they would have attained if they had not been absent for military service.
Employers may not discriminate against workers because they are past or current members of the uniformed military service. Employers also may not discriminate against workers because they have applied for membership in the uniformed military service. Furthermore, employers may not retaliate against people who assist in the enforcement of USERRA rights, including people who testify or make a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even if the person has no connection to the military.
Service members have certain obligations that they must comply with in order to receive the reemployment benefits of USERRA. You can learn more about USERRA and those obligations here.New Hampshire National Guard Rights and Protections
USERRA is a federal law that protects service members who serve in the U.S. armed forces but it does not protect service members who serve for the State of New Hampshire. But under New Hampshire state law, any person called to active duty by the governor as a member of the national guard or as a member of the militia must receive the same employment and reemployment rights, privileges, benefits, and protections in employment as provided to members of the U.S. armed forces under USERRA.You may Hold Your Employer Accountable for Violating Your Rights
If your employer violates your rights under USERRA or the parallel New Hampshire law that protects service members called to active duty by the governor, you can fight back. Sometimes employers are not aware of their obligations under these laws and simply educating them might get them to respect your rights. Other times, however, employers willfully break the law because they do not want to shoulder the burden of holding open the job of the military service member. Whether your employer is acting out of ignorance of the law or willfully breaking the law, the attorneys at the New Hampshire Employee Rights Group can help you. Call us for a consultation.