The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Basic Provisions

Reference Number: MTAS-1492
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: March 20, 2017
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The general military leave law provides four basic entitlements to employees returning from active service:

  • prompt reinstatement,
  • accrued seniority,
  • training or retraining to ensure that the employee can perform the functions of the job, and
  • special protection against discrimination and retaliation in addition to special protection against discharge for 180 days following periods of service from 31 days to 180 days (except for cause). This protection is extended to one year for periods of service of 181 days or more.

Under USERRA, re-employment rights are required for any person who is absent from work because of service in the uniformed services. USERRA requires that returning service members be re-employed in the job they "would have attained" had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. 38 U.S.C. § 4316(a). Additionally, returning employees are entitled to any other benefits not based on seniority. 38 U.S.C. § 4316(b).

All employers are required to notify employees of their rights under USERRA. The notice must explain what rights and protections employees have under the Act, including the right to re-employment after uniformed service, freedom from discrimination and retaliation for serving in uniform and certain health insurance protections (38 U.S.C § 4334).

The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VET) has prepared a poster that may be used to fulfill the requirements. It can be downloaded at https://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/USERRA_Private.pdf.

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