Military members put a lot on the line to protect our rights and serve our country. Unfortunately, in doing so, some military members face unlawful workplace discrimination. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), companies are prohibited from discriminating against employees or job applicants solely on the basis of past, current, or future military service. At Coffman Legal, our Columbus Ohio military status discrimination attorneys are committed advocates for the employment rights of service members. We appreciate the service you provide to our country and will fight for your rights to be free from workplace discrimination based on your military status. If you were the victim of military status discrimination in Central Ohio, you are encouraged to reach out to our Columbus law office for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
USERRA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The law applies to all service members, regardless of their specific branch or role. The primary purpose of USERRA is to help individuals in the armed forces by protecting the job rights of those who voluntarily or involuntarily undertake military service. An employer is not legally allowed to make employment decisions because of military membership, application for membership, the performance of service, application for service, or obligation.
If you are a current or former member of the American armed forces, or if you apply to serve in the future, you have the right to work in a place free from discrimination based upon military status. Employers cannot discriminate against people who apply to the military, are currently members, or who are past members of the armed services. In addition, employers cannot retaliate against anyone who assists in the enforcement of USERRA rights, even if that person has no service connection. More specifically, servicemembers cannot be denied:
For military members who have suffered any type of service-related injury or developed a service-related medical condition, USERRA provides important rights to help integrate them back into the workforce. If an individual suffers from a service-related injury, their employer must accommodate the employee’s return based on when the individual can return to work. Of course, there are cases in which a service-related injury will make it impossible or impracticable for an employee to return to their previous position. For example, a military member who sustained severe injuries while deployed may no longer be able to work in a physically strenuous position. In this circumstance, employers must make a good faith effort to offer a different position that is comparable to the previous one and accommodate the injury.
To ensure the smoothest possible path to reemployment, there are certain proactive steps that military service members should take. First and foremost, you must provide your employer with written or verbal notice of your service. Your employer must be made aware of your military status and any implications of service. In addition, upon your return from military service, you must apply for reemployment in a timely manner. The failure to do so could potentially give an employer a defense against a military status discrimination claim. Once you are able to return to work, you should apply as soon as possible. Notably, servicemembers are also protected when it comes to their health insurance and may elect to continue health coverage for themselves and their dependents while performing military service. If servicemembers elect not to continue health insurance coverage during their military service, they have the right to be reinstated to their employer’s health plan once they are reemployed. Reemployment rights and other USERRA-related issues are often complicated. If you are unsure of your obligations or your rights under federal law, you should not hesitate to seek professional guidance. Our Ohio military status discrimination attorneys are here to answer any question you may have about employment rights.
If you are a servicemember and your employer has unlawfully discriminated against you in the workplace due to your military status, contact our Columbus Ohio military status discrimination attorneys to discuss your case. Among other things, our Columbus Ohio military discrimination lawyers are prepared to:
At Coffman Legal, our skilled Ohio employment law attorneys have extensive experience handling military status discrimination cases. If you or any service member you know has been discriminated against because of military service obligations, contact our Columbus Ohio military status discrimination lawyers immediately. We look forward to the opportunity to assist service members. Contact our office at 614-949-1181 for a free consultation with our Columbus Ohio military discrimination lawyers regarding your rights to a discrimination-free workplace.