Protecting National Guard Members’ Employment Rights: South Carolina Adopts New Legislation, Other States to Follow?
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 in order to improve upon and replace the Veterans’ Reemployment Rights law of 1940. Charles T. Passaglia, USERRA: Bolstering Veterans’ Rights, 24 Colo. Law. 577, 577 (1995); see also 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 4301–4333 (West 2015). One of the main purposes of USERRA is “to prohibit discrimination against persons because of their service in the uniformed services.” § 4301(a)(3). Essentially, service members’ civilian jobs are protected under USERRA when they are in a federal active duty status under Titles 10 or 32 of the United States Code. Id. §§ 4301–4333. USERRA provides many guarantees, including reemployment rights and continuation of benefits, such as health insurance and pension plans. Id. These guarantees, however, only apply to service members who must be absent from their civilian job when they are placed on federal active duty—USERRA does not extend to protect service members on state active duty. H. Craig Manson, The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, 47 A.F. L. Rev. 55, 86 (1999). (more…)