Under federal legislation (Chapter 43 of Title 38, U.S. Code) enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS), servicemembers are entitled to return to their civilian public or private employment with the seniority, status, and pay they would have attained had they been continuously employed if they meet certain criteria. In particular, the law:
Expands the anti-discrimination protection of Reserve and Guard members in hiring, retention, and advancement on the basis of their military obligation;
Requires employers to make reasonable efforts to retrain or upgrade skills to qualify workers for reemployment;
Expands healthcare and employee benefit pension plan coverage;
Extends the number of years an individual may be absent for military duty;
Improves the protections for disabled veterans and improves enforcement mechanisms for service members who believe their reemployment rights have been violated.
Servicemembers are required to give advance notice of their service obligation to employers unless military necessity makes this impossible. Notice must be given to employers of intent to return to employment under a set of guidelines based on the length of time absent from the job.
Employers and service members with specific questions about their rights and obligations under the USERRA should contact a veterans’ representative at the U.S. Department of Labor, (617) 626-6699 or visit the website at www.dol.gov/vets. Release for training M.G.L. ch. 33, s. 59 and 59A Massachusetts National Guard members who are state employees or county, city, or town employees whose elected authority has accepted this provision are entitled to:
Up to 34 paid days for any state fiscal year or 17 paid days for any federal fiscal year with the same leaves of absence or vacation given to others; No member shall be required to use vacation or other time for training drills requiring release from his/her normal scheduled work hours. Such release from work shall not affect his/her leaves of absence or vacation with pay given to others. M.G.L. ch. 149, s. 52A Ready Reserve members employed in the public or private sector are protected from loss of their positions, including normal vacation, sick leave, bonuses, and advancements during the annual training so long as they 20
Veterans’ Laws and Benefits do not exceed 17 days in any calendar year, give notice of return and departure, and with the discretion of the employer the leave may be with or without pay. Public employees serving in Global War on Terrorism Ch. 77 of the Acts of 2005 An employee of the state, or a county, city, or town that accepts this law who has been called up from the Reserve or National Guard after September 11, 2001, and until September 11, 2011, is entitled to the difference, if any, between his/her base pay as a public employee and his/her base pay from the military.