The Uniformed Service Employees Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) requires employers to provide the following to employees who are members of the United States Uniformed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the reserves of the foregoing):
- An unpaid leave of absence for a period not to exceed 5 years to perform any form of military service, whether voluntarily or involuntarily called or activated, such as being placed on active duty, for annual training, and for training weekends.
- While on leave, the employee is entitled to those rights and benefits not determined by seniority and generally provided to individuals of similar status on a leave of absence.
- Upon return from leave, reinstatement to the position that the employee would have held if his or her continuous employment had not been interrupted.
- Upon return from leave, all seniority and seniority-based rights and benefits as if the employee had remained continuously employed. Typical benefits covered under USERRA would include vacation allowances, pension credit and 401(k) contributions.
- Continuation of medical benefits under the same terms and conditions as when actively employed if military service is 30 days or less.
- Continuation of medical benefits for up to 24 months during leave that is greater than 30 days under terms similar to those of COBRA.
- Protection from discharge upon return to work, except for “cause,” for a period of time depending on the length of military service.