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Discrimination in the Workplace Based on Military Service

Published November 7, 2017 by Employment and Commerce Law Group
Discrimination in the Workplace Based on Military Service

Unexpected and long-term military deployments keep many men and women in the armed forces away from their civilian jobs for months or years at a time. Federal law provides certain job protections for military service members. But when employers ignore the law, service members experience unnecessary financial and personal distress. 

The workplace discrimination lawyers at the Employment and Commerce Law Group can help if you lost your job due to your military status. Contact us today to learn how the law protects you after the sacrifices you have made for your country. 

Examples of Military Discrimination in the Workplace

Some common examples of workplace discrimination that current or former military members and reservists experience include:

  • Firing reservists who get called to active duty
  • Refusing to hire veterans or reservists due to political beliefs
  • Refusing to hire reservists because of concerns about being called away to active duty
  • Demoting military personnel after they return from service
  • Being subjected to derogatory comments about the military
  • Denying military spouses time off to arrange child care or spend time with their spouse on leave
  • Denying military spouses and families the opportunity to join the company’s health insurance programIf you believe you experienced military discrimination in the workplace, seek advice immediately from a skilled employment lawyer.

What is USERRA?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that provides certain employment protections for members of the military and reservists. According to the Department of Labor, your civilian employer must keep your job open when you deploy on active duty if you meet the following conditions:

  • You give your employer advance written or verbal notice of your deployment.
  • You have five years or less of cumulative active-duty service time while working for your current employer.
  • You return to work or apply for reemployment promptly after your active-duty service ends.
  • You did not receive a dishonorable discharge.

The Department of Labor also says members of the military have the right to continue using employer-based health insurance for up to 24 months during deployment. Finally, USERRA protects current and former service members from workplace discrimination and retaliation.

What Happens When Employers Ignore USERRA?

If you believe your employer has violated your rights under USERRA, you can contact the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) division to file a complaint. An employment discrimination attorney can tell you more about military discrimination cases and what you can do to protect your employment rights.

Examples of USERRA Violations

Common examples of USERRA violations include:

  • Discriminatory termination
  • Denying promotions
  • Blocking service members and their families from obtaining health coverage during a deployment
  • Denying other benefits of employment
  • Retaliating for making a USERRA complaint

What Can You Do If You Were Discriminated Against Because of Your Military Status?

USERRA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other laws protect members of the military and their families from discrimination. If an employer discriminates against you because of your current or past military status, you have the right to seek a legal remedy for the harm you have suffered. Talk to a workplace discrimination lawyer for military discrimination in the workplace.


Get Help From Our Employment Law Attorneys

At the Employment and Commerce Law Group, we know how hard deployment is on military families. You don’t deserve to lose your job security while you serve our country. If you believe your employer violated your USERRA rights, contact us today to speak with an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer.  




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