Florida Military Status Employment Discrimination Attorney (USERRA)
Unfortunately, Americans that have served or are serving in our armed forces face discrimination in the workplace. There is a law that protects both veterans and current enlistees of our armed forces, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The USERRA was enacted in 1994, and provides significant federal protections to veterans and members of the uniformed services. The USERRA prohibits adverse employment actions based on an employee’s status as a veteran or member of the armed forces. Adverse actions under the USERRA can take many forms, including being fired or laid off, being forced to resign, being demoted, being underpaid in comparison to similar coworkers, being harassed, or subjected to a hostile work environment. Any of these actions, if done with a discriminatory purpose, can constitute improper discrimination. The USERRA applies to both government and private-sector employers, and to both voluntary and involuntary service. Contact our Florida military status employment discrimination attorney for more information.
The USERRA provides additional protections to veterans, reservists, and members of the National Guard. Former and part-time members of the uniformed services are entitled to be re-employed at the same or comparable position after returning from training or service. This period of absence generally must not exceed five years. Advance notice must be given to the employer, and the employee must return to work or apply for re-employment promptly after the conclusion of service. The USERRA also protects the right to receive employer-sponsored health insurance while deployed for up to two years.
Other federal laws provide rights to members of the armed forces. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that qualifying employees can take up to 26 weeks off work per year to care for a seriously injured spouse or next of kin who suffered injury in the line of duty. The FMLA also provides what is called Qualifying Exigency Leave, which allows qualifying employees to take up to 12 weeks off of work because a spouse, child, or parent in the National Guard or Reserves is deployed. Employment discrimination against disabled veterans is prohibited by the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act. Discrimination based on a real or perceived disability can also be prohibited by the Americans with Disability Act and state laws.
If you believe that your military status has caused an employer to terminate you, demote you, reassign you to a less desirable job, cut your hours, unnecessary nit-pick your work, you may have a claim under USERRA. Call now and speak to an experienced Florida labor and employment attorney and find out what your rights are.