Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Sep 24, 2014

What does reemployment of a veteran really mean?

Q&ALeave Laws 

Q: An employee left three years ago and told us he was pursuing a career in the Navy. Yesterday he showed up asking for his old job back. Do we have to rehire him?

A: Yes. The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) generally gives returning servicemembers the right to reemployment for up to five years after entering the military, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. When leaving to join the military, the employee doesn’t need to tell you whether they intend to return to work someday. Further, the returning veteran will be entitled to many seniority-based benefits and promotions that would have been received had the employee worked for you the entire time. USERRA reemployment rules can get complicated, so it’s best to get some guidance when a veteran returns to work.