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National Employer Support of

the Guard and Reserve

The National Committee for Employer

Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is

an agency within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve

Affairs. It was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and

their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising

from an employee’s military commitment. Today ESGR operates through a network of more than 4,500 volunteers

throughout 54 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam,

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For more information contact the National Council for Employer Support of

the Guard and Reserve. This agency

assists in promoting cooperation and understanding between Reserve component

members and their civilian employers. The

website of the National Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and

Reserve, http://www.esgr.org

explains employers’ legal obligations. This site also gives employers tips on helping their employees balance

military service with employment. In addition, you can download a copy of the

useful “Non-Technical Resource Guide to

USERRA.”For more information on Reservist policies,

employer awards and recognition and USERRA compliance, contact:


or the Reserve Officers Association

www.roa.org and Call up info for Reserve and

National Guard and Call up info for employers of

Reserve and Guard   and U.S. Department of Labor’s

Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)


Uniformed Services Employment

and Reemployment Rights Act


Besides worrying about home or car

payments, ongoing civil court disputes and evictions of family or dependents,

active military persons are often concerned about whether they will have a job to

return to once their period of active duty is over. Fortunately, the answer is

usually yes. A federal law known as

the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994,

or USERRA (38

U.S.C. Section 4301 and following),

prohibits discrimination against members of the United States military or those

who serve in the military reserves. This law requires employers to reinstate an employee who has taken time

off to serve in the armed forces, including reservists called up by the

President, if the employee meets these conditions:

  • The employee gave the employer notice, before taking

    leave that the leave was for military service.

  • The employee spent no more than five years on leave

    for military service.

  • The employee was released from military service

    under honorable conditions, and

  • The employee reports back or applies for

    reinstatement within specified time limits (these limits vary depending on the

    length of the employee’s leave).

USERRA requires employers to

reinstate workers to the same position they would have held had they been

continuously employed throughout their leave, provided they are otherwise qualified for

that job. This means that your employer cannot simply return you to your

old position. Instead, the employer must give you any promotions, increased pay

or additional job responsibilities that you would have gotten had you never taken

leave — but only if you are qualified to do the job. If you are not qualified,

your employer must try to get you qualified (by providing training, for

example). You are entitled to the benefits and seniority that you would have

earned had you been continuously employed. For purposes of benefits plans and

leave policies, the time you spent on leave must be counted as time worked.  For more information on USERRA, go to http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/handbook/userra.htm

or http://www.dol.gov. The website of the U.S. Department of

Labor has fact sheets and frequently asked questions about USERRA.