Employment Rights for Veterans

Posted by on Nov 11, 2008 in Veterans

By: Tiffanie Benfer, Esq.
“Ted Daywalt, president of VetJobs.com, a site that helps military people find jobs, says he knows companies that simply refuse to hire them. ‘I had one senior VP of HR tell me that if I had three candidates for a senior position in the company, and one of them mentioned they’re in the Guard or Reserve, he would only have two candidates left. And I said, “You know, that’s illegal.” And, his response was, ‘I can always find a reasonwhy not to hire somebody,’ he says.”
— Excerpt from 60 Minutes report on USERRA violations, November 2, 2008
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
— John F. Kennedy
USERRA Rights for Veterans and Obligations for Employers
By: Tiffanie C. Benfer, Esq.
Our country’s current military engagement abroad has resulted in involuntary duty for many employees. They leave behind civilian jobs and create voids in the employer’s workforce. In some cases the employer must fill this void in their absence. However, when the veteran employee returns from active duty s/he has the legal right to be re-employed even if the employer has no vacancies. In an effort to protect the men and women of the armed forces and to encourage participation in the armed forces, Congress enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) to provide the men and women of the armed services job protection. What does this mean for employers and returning vets?

Read More

Salute to Veterans

Posted by on Nov 11, 2008 in Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day which seems to slide by with too little notice, unless you happen to notice that the post office is closed. I just returned last night from England, where this weekend marked their “Remembrance Day.” It seemed that everyone there – schoolchildren, waitresses, newscasters, and the queen – was wearing a commemorative red poppy, and the news channels spent hours on Sunday covering the ceremonies. Maybe we can learn something from this British pomp and circumstance, especially if it helps us to better focus on the needs of those returning from war.
As I passed through customs on my way home, I struck up a conversation with a young man who was returning from Iraq – he was coming home a month earlier than expected, with a bandaged arm and a big grin, ready to surprise his wife and three children at their door. I hope that his country gives him a welcome as warm as the one I’m sure he got from his family last night.
In honor of this young man, and all of our veterans of wars past and present, our next blog entry will be on employer’s obligations when it comes to employment of returning veterans.

Read More