Can my job fire me if I join the military?
The military provides a great opportunity for many individuals to serve their country, but it can also cause some concern for those who are currently employed. Many people are worried that their employer may terminate their job if they choose to join the military. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect individuals from being discriminated against for their service.
Federal Laws Related to Military Service and Employment
The United States government has put various laws in place to protect individuals from discrimination due to their military service. These laws are designed to ensure that employers are not able to terminate or otherwise discriminate against individuals who choose to join the military.
The primary law that protects individuals from being fired or discriminated against due to their military service is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This law is designed to protect individuals who choose to serve in the military from being discriminated against when they return to their job.
What Does USERRA Say About My Job?
USERRA states that employers must not discriminate against individuals due to their military service. This means that employers cannot terminate or otherwise discriminate against individuals who choose to join the military. In addition, USERRA states that employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate individuals who are returning from military service.
What If My Employer Tries to Discriminate Against Me?
If an employer is found to be in violation of USERRA, the individual can file a complaint with the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor will then investigate the complaint and take appropriate action against the employer if it is found to be in violation of USERRA.
What Are My Rights as an Employee?
As an employee, you have the right to be informed of your rights under USERRA before you join the military. This includes the right to be informed of the right to reemployment, the right to be informed of any training or retraining you may be entitled to, and the right to be informed of any benefits available to you as a result of your military service.
Do I Have to Tell My Employer I Am Joining the Military?
No, you are not required to tell your employer that you are joining the military. However, it is a good idea to inform your employer of your intentions so that they can make the necessary arrangements for your time off.
What Are the Benefits of Joining the Military?
There are many benefits to joining the military, including:
- Financial Stability: The military provides a steady income and benefits that are not available in most civilian jobs. This can provide individuals with financial stability and security.
- Education Benefits: The military provides individuals with access to higher education, including tuition assistance and college credit for certain courses.
- Career Opportunities: The military provides individuals with access to a wide range of career opportunities and training that may not be available in the civilian world.
- Leadership Training: The military provides individuals with access to leadership training and development opportunities that can be beneficial in their civilian life.
- Travel: The military provides individuals with the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures, which can be a great way to broaden one’s horizons.
What If My Employer Does Not Rehire Me After My Service?
If an employer does not rehire an individual after their military service, the individual may have a claim under USERRA. The individual can file a complaint with the Department of Labor, which will investigate the complaint. If it is found that the employer violated USERRA, the individual may be entitled to back pay and other damages.
What Should I Do If I Am Thinking About Joining the Military?
If you are considering joining the military, it is important to understand your rights under USERRA. You should also make sure to communicate with your employer to ensure that they are aware of your plans and that they are willing to accommodate your military service.
Joining the military is an honorable decision that can provide individuals with many benefits, both personally and professionally. However, it is important to understand your rights under USERRA and to communicate with your employer before joining the military. Doing so will ensure that you are protected from any potential discrimination due to your service.