Extension of Military Leave Pay and Benefits for UAW Employees
Effective immediately, differential pay, health care, and life and disability insurance will be extended until September 30, 2003 for employees who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard and are activated prior on Terrorism - or subsequent military actions in Iraq.
Those Employees activated to the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard in support of these actions after March 31, 2003 and before September 30, 2003 will be eligible for differential pay and benefits for up to 6 months.
Under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), you must give your new employee a military leave of absence of up to five years. All employees are eligible for this military leave; the law does not specify any employment period for eligibility. In addition, you ordinarily must reinstate the veteran to the position he would have held if his employment had not been interrupted by military service. Employees who take a military leave of absence also are entitled to: (1) retain and accrue benefits tied to seniority; (2) elect and pay for continued health care coverage; and (3) participate during the leave in insurance and other benefits not determined by seniority to the same extent as employees granted other types of leave.
In order to be eligible for reinstatement, the returning veteran must notify the pre-service employer that he intends to return to employment once military service is completed. The length of time that the veteran has to contact the employer regarding reemployment depends on the length of the service. For example, if the employee’s military service lasts for more than 180 days, the returning veteran must apply for reemployment within 90 days of the end of the service. However, if he serves 30 days or less, the returning veteran must report on the first full regularly scheduled work period on the first full calendar day following completion of the service plus eight hours.
The USERRA also protects returning veterans from discharge without cause for a period of time after reemployment. For example, if the returning veteran’s military service lasted between 31 and 180 days, the veteran may not be terminated without cause for 180 days after the date of reemployment. If the veteran’s service was more than 180 days, this protection applies for one year after reemployment. Employees with less than 31 days of service do not have protection against discharge without cause, but like other returning veterans, they are protected from discrimination based on military service or a continuing service obligation.
This article is not intended as legal advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate legal or other professional advice.
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