Government Stands Up for Veteran Reemployment Rights

November 07, 2013 |

Soldier Shilouette

When a member of the Guard or Reserves is called to serve, there are a number of laws in place that require their employer to secure a position with the same responsibilities and pay as when they left for when they return. Despite these laws, some companies refuse to rehire veterans, or do so for a position with lower pay. NPR recently followed a handful of such cases, and discovered the law is successfully standing up for veteran reemployment rights.

In one case from Everett, Washington, an Army Reservist was demoted then fired after his deployment to Iraq. His employer, a battery retailer, was sued and then fined $37,500 in back pay. In an unrelated incident, a deputy of the Jerome County Sheriff’s Department was awarded $150,000 as part of a settlement. He claimed that the sheriff’s department did not accommodate him for the time he needed to heal from a knee injury suffered in Iraq.

Some cases are due to unfamiliarity with the law on part of the employers, but the real reason for the increase in such cases is the influx of veterans returning from deployment in the Middle East. Lt. Colonel Matt Cooper of the Washington National Guard says that often employers will settle out of court. “They try to solve problems as informally as possible,” says Cooper.

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  1. Bart says:

    I wonder how many Vets who where employed by the Federal Government have been denied re-employment. I know there are alot of them, me included.

  2. Wm. J. Kelly says:

    I am a 32 yr, Army Dis. Vet, 17 yrs in the Post office. I want my old job back to finish out my years in the Post Office, to retire from there.Any Ideas, In tried lots of ways, No avail!!

    • Gman9442 says:

      I just retired from the AF reserves after 27yrs of service and a dis. vet. I was injuried while on active duty. My orders were not extended by my medical unit to cover the time I was going through rehab and treatment .
      I work for the PO as well with 25yrs of service. Well because of the medical unit not processing my orders I have lost my USERRA rights for reemployment. I even spoke with the P.O. atty. that deals with USERRA and our reemployment rights. He acknowledged the medical unit dropped the ball but stated the law is the law and because there were no orders I was not reemployable. I filed a congressional into the orders matter but to no avail. I am currently still pursuing the orders matter from a difference angle. I will keep you posted as it progresses.