Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act Offers Certain Reemployment Rights to Military Employees

In Tennessee and all across the United States when employees take leave for a certain amount of time, they are typically informed about their rights before taking the leave and also told that if their position is no longer needed while they are on leave, they may return to a different position with equal pay or they may be let go. If you are in the military and you take leave to go to war or for a national emergency your reemployment rights are a bit different under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act or USERRA. If you or someone you care about is in the military and you have questions or concerns about these rights you should speak with a Tennessee USERRA employment lawyer right away. They will answer any questions you may have and help you with your case.

Under USERRA, employers are not allowed to discriminate against anyone serving in the armed forces or retaliate against them after they return from military leave. This act also obligates businesses to rehire or reemploy military employees when they return from military leave or duty whether they are active or inactive military employees. However, the employee must provide the business with advance notice before military leave unless it is not possible by military necessity, in order to qualify for rehire under USERRA. If a military employee protected under USERRA is seeking reemployment they must do so quickly.

If the time needed for the leave was less than thirty-one days, then USERRA requires that the employee return to the business or workplace the next working day after the leave. If the leave was for less than one hundred and eighty one days but more than thirty, the employee has fourteen days to seek reemployment. If the leave was for more than one hundred and eighty days, then the employee has ninety days to seek reemployment. If the employee is injured or suffering from an illness after their leave, then USERRA permits the employee to wait up to two years in order to recover before seeking reemployment. If an employee does not report or reapply within the required time period they do not automatically lose their entitlement to rights and benefits under USERRA. The business or place of work is still required to apply its general disciplinary rules or guidelines even if the military employee returning from leave does not meet the proper deadlines.

Some exceptions to these rights under USERRA include the combined time away from a job for military leave will not be covered if it is for more than five years. Also, if a business or workplace can provide proof that it is impossible or unreasonable to rehire the employee because it would place a burden on the business or if the position was only intended for a short time, then the business is not required to rehire the employee under USERRA.

The rules and guidelines for reemployment rights under USERRA can be confusing and difficult to understand for many people including the residents of Tennessee. If you or someone you love is in the military and has recently taken military leave from their job, then you are encouraged to contact one of our caring and experienced Tennessee USERRA employment attorneys immediately to discuss your reemployment rights and what you may be entitled to by law.
Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

Author Bio

Jim Higgins, founder of the Higgins Firm, is a seasoned personal injury attorney with deep roots in Nashville, Tennessee. A 4th generation Nashvillian, Jim carries on the legal legacy of his father, a judge for over 30 years. After graduating from the University of Memphis School of Law, Jim’s career began on the other side of the courtroom, defending insurance companies and learning their tactics for minimizing settlements. However, he soon realized his true calling was fighting for the rights of the injured, and for the past several years, he has exclusively represented plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

Since then, his dedication and skill have earned him membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization limited to attorneys who have secured million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. Licensed to practice in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, Jim focuses on personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation cases. His exceptional work has been recognized by his peers, earning him a spot on the Super Lawyers list from 2021 to 2024, a distinction awarded to only a select group of accomplished attorneys in each state.

Google | Linked In | Avvo | State Bar Association