Are you Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Many people confuse or do not fully understand how overtime pay works, often making who is and who is not eligible to receive overtime pay the biggest confusion of them all. And, since overtime laws are set by the U.S. Department of Labor, requiring that employees meet a certain set of requirements to qualify, it is critical that employees understand where their employment status falls under these requirements.

Overtime Pay Requirements

In order to receive overtime pay, the following requirements must be met:

1. You must either earn less than $455 per week ($23,660 per year) in order to automatically be eligible to receive overtime pay.

2. If you earn more than the above requirements, are paid a salary, and fall into one of the following categories, you will be considered exempt and not be eligible for overtime pay:

  • Creative: If your profession’s duties involve things such as invention or imagination, or involve the use of your talent with creative and artistic abilities, then you are exempt from overtime pay.
  • Learned: If your profession involves the requirement of certain knowledge and expertise in a field of science or learning, which is typically acquired through specialized instruction or education, and not from the employer itself, then you are considered exempt from overtime pay.
  • Executive: If your profession involves office and non-manual labor, is related to management of the employer’s operations, and requires you to make decisions, judgments, or the use of discretion, then you are exempt from overtime pay.
  • Outside Sales: If your profession involves the primary duty of making sales away from the employer’s operational facility, you are exempt from receiving overtime pay.

What To Do If You Need Help

Overtime and state wage laws are in place in order to protect you. If you have any questions or feel that you are a victim of wage or overtime theft, then contact an employment attorney immediately that specializes in wage and overtime law.

If you need help or have questions in regards to violations of your employment rights, including wage or overtime theft, contact Maduff & Maduff Law today.

How to Properly Document Your Wrongful Termination

Anytime you have been fired or laid off from your job, it is a good idea to ensure you are properly documenting by collecting documents and paperwork that may be related to your termination, especially if you are considering legal action.

By documenting your case, you will better be able to protect your rights, especially in cases of wrongful termination. Here are some things to do when documenting your termination case:

Keep a Paper Trail: In the event that you think something is wrong with your employer, and you feel your employment is at risk, you can take action, regardless of whether there has been any disciplinary action against you.

  • Keep Records: Such as performance reviews, salary increases or decreases, as well as informal comments that your supervisor makes to you about your work.
  • Note the Important Information: Date, time, and location, who was involved, and witnesses.
  • Back up with Documentation: Documents such as employment policies, memos, or reviews. However, ensure you have all the necessary right to access these documents. Otherwise, your case could be thrown out and you’d be in huge legal trouble.

Copy your Personal File: Be sure to keep a copy your personnel file, making a copy of all reports and performance reviews.

Ask for a Written Explanation of your Termination: It may be a good idea to ask your former employer for a written explanation of why you were terminated. This can help in order to determine if the reason for your termination is wrongful or not, and can be used for documentation as well.

Collect Other Forms of Documentation: If you file a claim for unemployment, your former employer will need to respond to your claim and will be translated into a document that your local unemployment office will send to you, indicating the reason for your termination.

If you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, be sure to consult with the employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff as soon as possible.

Connecting on LinkedIn Does Not Violate a Non-Solicitation Agreement in Illinois

A recent decision by an Illinois Appellate Court held that making a connection on LinkedIn with former colleagues (even with a little intent to recruit them via LinkedIn) by a former employee subject to a non-solicitation provision is not a violation of the underlying employment agreement.

The Facts

In Bankers Life and Casualty Co. v. American Senior Benefits LLC., et al, Case No 2017 IL App (1st) 160687, Bankers Life filed suit against Gregory Gelineau (among others) a former Branch Sales Manager out of its Warwick, RI office for breach of his employment agreement. In 2006, Mr. Gelineau signed an employment agreement which included certain restrictive covenants including the following:

“During the term of this Contract and for 24 months thereafter, within the territory regularly serviced by the Manager’s branch sales office, the Manager shall not, personally or through the efforts of others, induce or attempt to induce:

          (a) any agent, branch sales manager, field vice president, employee, consultant, or other similar
          representative of the Company to curtail, resign, or sever a relationship with the company;

          (b) any agent, branch sales manager, field vice president or employee of the Company to
          contract with or sell insurance business with any company not affiliated with the company, or

          (c) any policyholder of the company to relinquish, surrender, replace, or lapse any policy
          issued by the company.”

Mr. Gelineau left his employment in early 2015 and was hired by a direct competitor. In August 2015 Bankers Life filed suit alleging that Mr. Gelineau violated his contract by recruiting or attempting to recruit employees from the Warwick office through LinkedIn requests to connect.

The Decision

Bankers Life argued that the invitations Mr. Gelineau sent (there was no dispute that he did this) directed the recipients to a job posting and that he was using LinkedIn as the first introduction to joining the competitor (there was a text message that suggested Mr. Gelineau was using LinkedIn to recruit new employees).  The Court disagreed with Bankers Life and concluded that the emails sent by LinkedIn by Mr. Gelineau’s account did not amount to  a violation. In reaching its decision the Court noted that the emails from Gelineau’s LinkedIn account were generic invitations. These emails made no mention of Bankers Life, the competitor, no solicitation, or other language encouraging a course of conduct by the employees out of the Warwick office. The recipients of the LinkedIn invitations had the option of not connecting with Mr. Gelineau and did not need to click on his profile. Accordingly, whether the employees did so was outside of Mr. Gelineau’s control and accordingly “did not constitute an inducement or solicitation in violation of his noncompetition agreement.”

The Takeaway

Employees subject to certain restrictive covenants may be able to connect via LinkedIn with former colleagues (and maybe former clients) without violating a non-solicitation agreement.  However, if you do so, tread carefully and ensure that any communication you make uses LinkedIn’s generic email system and that you do not embellish it in anyway.
The employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff are dedicated to helping you to understand your rights and protecting Executives and the Companies that hire them from overbearing restrictive covenants. Contact us for more information and to see how we can help you today.

Handling Discrimination and Harassment Claims

When running a successful business, one of the most important practices and policies to have in place is an effective, efficient and proactive complaint procedure.

Be Respectful: When a complaint is brought to your attention, it is important to ensure that they are treated with both respect and consideration. You must take every claim seriously.

Listen – Don’t react: An effective complaint system is focused on listening, not reacting or blaming. Any reaction (even if genuine) can be taken wrong and create issues of retaliation and trust.

Don’t Retaliate: It seems silly to remind employers not to retaliate, yet it remains one of the biggest risks. Retaliation claims are the most serious because there is a concrete event (the complaint) with specific conduct that follows the employees believes is retaliation.

Follow your Handbook Every business should have a policy in place on how to handle any form of complaint. Be sure to follow these established rules in order for each and every complaint.

Interview: It is important to ensure that you have sufficiently investigated the complaint before making any decisions. Be sure to document your investigation, including the interviews, the steps you have taken, as well as any action that may have been taken against the accused individual. It may also be in your interest to hire a law firm to do it so that it can be privileged.

Confidentiality: The complaint should not be simply spread around the office – a coworker should not know about the complaint nor any of the details. Not only will this information have the ability to damage a workplace environment, but it can also damage the reputations of any persons involved.

If you are experiencing a workplace discrimination or harassment issue, and you are in need of the expertise and advice of an employment attorney, contact us at Maduff Law.

Looking Over a Severance Agreement Before Signing

When an employee is terminated, often due to a reduction in force, an employer may offer a severance agreement. While employers are not required to offer severance to employees (unless there is an agreement to do so), it is usually in the company’s interest to get a release.

Because the employee is often giving up important rights when signing a severance agreement, it is important to know your rights. Here are a few things to look for before signing your severance agreement:

1. Severance Pay: There are a few employees that have the benefit of a contractual right to severance. It is important to know if you may be entitled to benefits when you are terminated and to ensure you are receiving all of the benefits you are owed in your contract.

2. Employee Benefits: Severance agreements should fully explain which employee benefits will continue, including health care and COBRA options (if the employer has 20+ employees). If your employer is not offering health benefits, you may be able to negotiate for that benefit after being terminated.

3. Vacation Pay. In Illinois, an employer is required to pay you all unused accrued vacation pay. Even if you do not sign the severance agreement your employer is required to pay you these benefits. Many employers may hide or not tell you that you are owed these rights.

4. References: Many agreements will include disparagement clauses, but not discuss references. By hiring an employment attorney to review your severance agreement, you can negotiate how your references will be handled in the future, as well as what information will be shared with potential employers.

5. Getting More Money. This is the crux of all negotiations. It is important to discuss your situation one-to-one with an employment attorney so they can help evaluate the leverage you may have to get more money from your employment lawyer.

If you ever have any questions or would like to speak with Employment Attorneys at Maduff Law to help protect your rights and ensure you are receiving what is rightfully yours upon separation from employment, be sure to contact us at Maduff Law today!

Areas of Issue: Wages and Overtime

Employment laws protect employees from having their employment rights violated. From discrimination to harassment, to the payment of wages, there are many ways an employee’s rights can be taken from them, with the most common being wage and overtime theft.

Some people, however, may not recognize when these violations occur to them. In order to help you better understand, here are the most common workplace violations when it comes to wages, and what you should know in order to protect your rights.

Wage Theft

Wage theft can occur when an employee does not receive his or her earned pay. Wage theft can happen with either regular or overtime pay. Any non-exempt employees that do not receive pay for the hours that they have worked can claim wage theft. Exempt employees may also be victims of wage theft, but in more complicated situations.

Overtime Theft

Non-exempt employees are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that non-exempt employees be paid 1.5 times their regular pay for any hours worked over 40-hours in a workweek. Sometimes your employer simply makes a mistake and miscalculates your overtime. However, it is important to keep track of any overtime hours that you may have worked in order to ensure you are being paid appropriately.

Misclassification of Employment

There are certain professions that are considered exempt, but there are many others that are not. Many employers misclassify its employees as exempt in order to avoid paying overtime. For this reason, it is critical to understand what classification your position qualifies for, exempt or non-exempt, ensuring that you are not experiencing a misclassification in your position.

If you feel your rightfully earned wages have been wrongfully taken from you in one way, or another, then be sure to contact the employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff for more information, or to get started on your claim today.

Understanding FMLA and Intermittent Leave

Everyone knows that work is a huge part of our lives, but sometimes there is an event in our personal lives that overshadows all aspects of our professional lives.  Usually you need time off to deal with a medical condition, your own or that of or a family member.  Sometimes it can be a non-medical family event, such as the adoption of a child, or moving elderly parents into an assisted living facility, that requires personal time away from work. That’s when the the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is so valuable, but, there are several things you should – or must –  take into consideration.

The FMLA  allows a qualified employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. But first, you must be working for a qualified employer, one who has at least 50 employees within a 75 miles radius of where you work. (They don’t all have to work at your location, so long as there are at least 50 employees working at all locations within 75 miles.) Next, you must be qualified – you must have worked at the company for at least a year, and you must have worked at least 1,250 hours within the 12 months preceding the leave of absence.(That is not a full-time standard.  Part-time averaging at least 24 to 25 hours a week will do.) If all three of these requirements are met, you may qualify for FMLA leave.

But you must follow the rules. If the leave is medically related, as most are, the healthcare professional must complete an FMLA medical certification for your employer. Obviously, if you need leave for yourself, your doctor must state why you need leave, when and how long. If you need leave to care for a sick family member the doctor’s certification must state why you need time to care for the family member, when and how long. If you need FMLA leave for other than a medical reason you must still give your employer appropriate documentation.

Intermittent Leave

In many cases you will need a to take 12 weeks of FMLA leave at once, e.g., three weeks in a hospital followed by nine weeks of residential rehabilitation and home care. But other times, you will need leave in smaller chunks over a longer period of time. Suppose you have to spend four hours twice a week taking your elderly father to his doctor and are able to return to work for the remaining four hours in the day.  In this case the time off, the eight hours per week, will be charged to your FMLA leave, but only that eight hours. If you are spreading this eight hours a week over the entire year, or several years, you will never run out of FMLA leave (assuming this is the only FMLA leave you take in a year).

This raises an additional question: The FMLA says you get 12 weeks leave, but how many hours is that? It is not an automatic 480 hours (40 hours a week x 12 weeks). Rather, it is 12 times the number of hours you typically work in a week. If you work 30 hours you will get 360 hours (30 hours x 12 weeks) but if you work 50 hours you will get 600 hours. (50 hours x 12 weeks).  [Not only can an employee take a week or two off at a time, but they can also opt to change their employment status from full-time to part-time, ultimately reducing their total hours per day or week, but still working and earning an income.

There are three things you should do to ensure your intermittent leave is accepted, Check the requirements before even putting in for FMLA leave. If you’re not sure whether your employer has 50 employees or if you have worked 1250 hours within the past 12 months, just ask.

  1. Track your leave and send schedules to your employer at least two (2) weeks in advance of your leave.
  2. Do not abuse your FMLA leave. It is important to understand that although you are on a leave of absence, you should take all necessary precautions prior to leaving the office. Inform everyone of your leave, and make alternate communication options.

Things can come up in life that can put everything on hold. Whether it’s your health or a family member’s, it is important to realize that there is nothing more important than your family’s wellness. Take the proper precautions and double check the FMLA requirements before asking your employer for time off, and if you ever have any questions or would like legal advice, please, contact us at Maduff Law to get everything squared away.

Understanding your Employment Contract

Non-Compete Agreements and their Implications

A few generations ago it was common for a person to remain at their first job for a lifetime. If not that long, it was still common to stay at the same job for many years. But today people typically change jobs several times in their career. Sometimes there is a layoff; sometimes an individual employee is fired or quits.

Regardless of the reason, the employee is now looking for a new job. But if the employee had an employment contract with a Non-Competition Agreement (NCA) he may have a serious problem. Usually, an employer puts a NCA into an employment contract to protect its business. But sometimes an employer uses a NCA to prevent an employee from leaving, or just to be vindictive. We shall talk about both situations.

A NCA to Protect the Employer’s Business

Often a company has information or relationships that are essential to its business. Information, often called “trade secrets”, may be customer lists, manufacturing processes, sales techniques, research and, plans for future products or services. All these things have value to the company. They may even appear on the company’s financial statements as “Good Will”.

If a departing employee goes to work for a competitor and takes this valuable information with him it can be very costly to the previous employer. The departing employee may have trade secrets in his head. If the departing employee has personally serviced particular customers there is a strong possibility those customers will follow him to his new employer out of personal loyalty. A departing employee may even seek to hire away key employees from his old employer to go to work for his new one.

It is perfectly legal for a company to protect itself by having a contractual agreement with an employee not to engage in certain conduct for a specified time after leaving, and this could apply if the employee quits or even if he were fired. However, a valid NCA must have two essential characteristics: 1) It must be specified in the employee’s contract, invariably a written contract. The company may require the contract when an employee is hired or later as a condition of continued employment. 2) The terms of the NCA must be reasonable in terms of protecting the employer’s business, often called a “protectable interest”.

There are three elements that make a NCA reasonable:

  • Will the departing employee’s new employer be in competition with the former employer, providing the same or similar products or services?
  • Is the new employer in a location where it is targeting the same customers? If both employers are hair salons across the street from each other they are targeting the same customers, customers the employee may have a personal relationship with. But if they are ten or fifteen miles apart, they probably are targeting different customers. On the other hand, if the old employer is Microsoft and the new employer is Google they are probably targeting the same customers all over the world.
  • What is the duration of the NCA? If it is six months to a year it is probably reasonable because the information in the departing employee’s head will be fresh during that time. If the duration is several years or more it is probably unreasonable because in that time the information will become stale, of no value to the new employer, and not detrimental to the old employer.

There is another element that is often overlooked: Will the new employment of the departing employee really make a difference to the old employer’s business? The best example of this is where a cook at McDonald’s quits and goes to work for Burger King across the street. McDonald’s may have taught the departing employee a special way to make French fries, but Burger King already has its own way of making French fries and is not about to change. The departing employee may have a few personal friends who will switch from McDonald’s to Burger King just to see him when they go in, but that will not make any material difference to McDonald’s business. The essential fact is that customers go to McDonald’s because they want a Big Mac and they go to Burger King because they want a Whopper. It would be hard to find a court that would enforce a NCA against a departing cook at a McDonald’s.

A NCA to Prevent an Employee from Leaving or Just to Be Vindictive

Clearly, a NCA based on harming the employee and not reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business, is not legal. The real reason may be to prevent an employee from leaving or even asking for a raise. On the other hand, the employer’s objective may simply be vindictive, since the NCA is usually written to be effective even if the employee is fired.

However, the employer’s lawyers will draft the NCA to disguise its motives, to make it look reasonable and therefore enforceable. Consequently, unless the employer chooses to ignore the NCA, things can get ugly and most employees will need the help of an employment lawyer experienced in dealing with NCA’s.

There are generally three ways the fight can play out:

  • The employee can sue the old employer and ask a court to declare the NCA unenforceable.
  • The employee can take a new job and wait for the old employer to threaten suit.
  • The old employer can threaten the new employer with a suit for interfering with a contract, the NCA, between it and the employee.

If there the old employer threatens the new employer it will probably withdraw the job offer and that will end it. If the employee sues the old employer or if the old employer sues the employee, it is bound to be an expensive proposition and invariably the employer will have a lot more money to pay lawyers than the employee.

 

How Can a Lawyer Experienced in Dealing With NCA’s Help?

Before the Fact. A Non-Compete Agreement is a dangerous thing. Often an employee will not even notice it because it is buried in a much longer employment agreement. Therefore, it is critical when considering any written employment agreement that you consult the right lawyer, and right away. Ben Franklin was absolutely right when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you are considering a written employment agreement call us. Maduff lawyers are experienced with employment agreements and the NCA’s often buried in them. We can frequently review a proposed employment agreement, meet with a client, explain the dangers, and suggest modifications, all in just a couple of hours. Our client can then go back to the prospective employer and negotiate a satisfactory deal on his own.

After the Fact. Once an employee with a NCA leaves his job, voluntarily or involuntarily, his situation may still not be hopeless. The best course of action is to negotiate an agreement with the former employer. The lawyers at Maduff Law are experienced at negotiating severance agreements with former employers (with NCA’s and without them). If you have a NCA our first step will be to analyze it carefully, looking for any holes. Then we will try to negotiate with the former employer. We may get the employer to waive the NCA, or at least modify it to be less onerous. If agreement is not possible, we can still advise a client on the best way to find a new job or start a new business that will avoid giving the former employer a good case against him.

When it comes to Non-Compete Agreements, acting quickly may be very important. If you have any questions or need legal advice, please contact us at Maduff Law.

Non-Compete Agreements and their Implications

Non-Compete Agreements and their Implications

A few generations ago it was common for a person to remain at their first job for a lifetime. If not that long, it was still common to stay at the same job for many years. But today people typically change jobs several times in their career. Sometimes there is a layoff; sometimes an individual employee is fired or quits.

Regardless of the reason, the employee is now looking for a new job. But if the employee had an employment contract with a Non-Competition Agreement (NCA) he may have a serious problem. Usually, an employer puts a NCA into an employment contract to protect its business. But sometimes an employer uses a NCA to prevent an employee from leaving, or just to be vindictive. We shall talk about both situations.

 

A NCA to Protect the Employer’s Business

Often a company has information or relationships that are essential to its business. Information, often called “trade secrets”, may be customer lists, manufacturing processes, sales techniques, research and, plans for future products or services. All these things have value to the company. They may even appear on the company’s financial statements as “Good Will”.

If a departing employee goes to work for a competitor and takes this valuable information with him it can be very costly to the previous employer. The departing employee may have trade secrets in his head. If the departing employee has personally serviced particular customers there is a strong possibility those customers will follow him to his new employer out of personal loyalty. A departing employee may even seek to hire away key employees from his old employer to go to work for his new one

It is perfectly legal for a company to protect itself by having a contractual agreement with an employee not to engage in certain conduct for a specified time after leaving, and this could apply if the employee quits or even if he were fired. However, a valid NCA must have two essential characteristics: 1) It must be specified in the employee’s contract, invariably a written contract. The company may require the contract when an employee is hired or later as a condition of continued employment. 2) The terms of the NCA must be reasonable in terms of protecting the employer’s business, often called a “protectable interest”.

There are three elements that make a NCA reasonable:

  • Will the departing employee’s new employer be in competition with the former employer, providing the same or similar products or services?
  • Is the new employer in a location where it is targeting the same customers? If both employers are hair salons across the street from each other they are targeting the same customers, customers the employee may have a personal relationship with. But if they are ten or fifteen miles apart, they probably are targeting different customers. On the other hand, if the old employer is Microsoft and the new employer is Google they are probably targeting the same customers all over the world.
  • What is the duration of the NCA? If it is six months to a year it is probably reasonable because the information in the departing employee’s head will be fresh during that time. If the duration is several years or more it is probably unreasonable because in that time the information will become stale, of no value to the new employer, and not detrimental to the old employer.

There is another element that is often overlooked: Will the new employment of the departing employee really make a difference to the old employer’s business? The best example of this is where a cook at McDonald’s quits and goes to work for Burger King across the street. McDonald’s may have taught the departing employee a special way to make French fries, but Burger King already has its own way of making French fries and is not about to change. The departing employee may have a few personal friends who will switch from McDonald’s to Burger King just to see him when they go in, but that will not make any material difference to McDonald’s business. The essential fact is that customers go to McDonald’s because they want a Big Mac and they go to Burger King because they want a Whopper. It would be hard to find a court that would enforce a NCA against a departing cook at a McDonald’s.

 

A NCA to Prevent an Employee from Leaving or Just to Be Vindictive

Clearly, a NCA based on harming the employee and not reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business, is not legal. The real reason may be to prevent an employee from leaving or even asking for a raise. On the other hand, the employer’s objective may simply be vindictive, since the NCA is usually written to be effective even if the employee is fired.

However, the employer’s lawyers will draft the NCA to disguise its motives, to make it look reasonable and therefore enforceable. Consequently, unless the employer chooses to ignore the NCA, things can get ugly and most employees will need the help of an employment lawyer experienced in dealing with NCA’s.

There are generally three ways the fight can play out:

  • The employee can sue the old employer and ask a court to declare the NCA unenforceable.
  • The employee can take a new job and wait for the old employer to threaten suit.
  • The old employer can threaten the new employer with a suit for interfering with a contract, the NCA, between it and the employee.

If there the old employer threatens the new employer it will probably withdraw the job offer and that will end it. If the employee sues the old employer or if the old employer sues the employee, it is bound to be an expensive proposition and invariably the employer will have a lot more money to pay lawyers than the employee.

 

How Can a Lawyer Experienced in Dealing With NCA’s Help?

Before the Fact. A Non-Compete Agreement is a dangerous thing. Often an employee will not even notice it because it is buried in a much longer employment agreement. Therefore, it is critical when considering any written employment agreement that you consult the right lawyer, and right away. Ben Franklin was absolutely right when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you are considering a written employment agreement call us. Maduff lawyers are experienced with employment agreements and the NCA’s often buried in them. We can frequently review a proposed employment agreement, meet with a client, explain the dangers, and suggest modifications, all in just a couple of hours. Our client can then go back to the prospective employer and negotiate a satisfactory deal on his own.

After the Fact. Once an employee with a NCA leaves his job, voluntarily or involuntarily, his situation may still not be hopeless. The best course of action is to negotiate an agreement with the former employer. The lawyers at Maduff Law are experienced at negotiating severance agreements with former employers (with NCA’s and without them). If you have a NCA our first step will be to analyze it carefully, looking for any holes. Then we will try to negotiate with the former employer. We may get the employer to waive the NCA, or at least modify it to be less onerous. If agreement is not possible, we can still advise a client on the best way to find a new job or start a new business that will avoid giving the former employer a good case against him.

When it comes to Non-Compete Agreements, acting quickly may be very important. If you have any questions or need legal advice, please contact us at Maduff Law.

USERRA and your Rights

USERRA and Your Rights

Those who serve are our nation’s heroes. While away protecting our country, our country must protect their employment rights—and it does!

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, USERRA, covers current and former members of all military branches, the Coast Guard, the Public Health Service and the National Disaster Medical System.

You would think that employers would honor and respect their employees by holding their job and benefits while they are away protecting us. Most do, but unfortunately, some do not. That’s where USSERA comes in.

 

Reemployment Rights

Under USERRA, you are entitled to be reemployed in the same—or higher—position with the same seniority and entitlements as if you had never been on duty, so long as a few requirements are met on your end.

  • You must provide your employer with notice of your service before leaving. In writing is best to prove you did.
  • You must have been honorably discharged. If your discharge is less than honorable you will be denied USERRA protections.
  • You must have served five years or less in the uniformed services with your current employer.
  • You must return to work within a reasonable time after returning home.

 

Health Insurance

When you leave to serve our country, your employer is obligated to continue its health insurance plan for you and your family. It may not discontinue the coverage you were on before your service, and it must continue coverage for up to 24 months. In addition, if you choose to discontinue your insurance while you are in the service, you have the right to have it reinstated immediately when you come back—without any waiting period.

 

Free from Discrimination

If you are called to active duty, National Guard training, or enlist, [ABM, WRL—please verify enlistment]  or if you have applied for membership in the military for any ranking position, [ABM, WRL—please verify application for ranking position. Is it any different than enlistment?] your current employer must give you back your previous job or an equal or better one—with seniority and benefit rights as if you had never left.

Some employers may be hesitant to hire an applicant who is subject to being called up. But If you apply for a new job when you get back, or even apply for a job before you go on active duty, a prospective employer may not discriminate against you because of your military status. Such discrimination is a violation of your USERRA rights and you can seek relief from a federal court.

Unfortunately, some employers will knowingly violate the law and others will deny your rights just because they don’t understand the law. We at Maduff Law respect you and honor your service. If an employer ignores your USERRA rights, the lawyers at Maduff Law stand ready to help you just as we have helped many of your comrades in the past. If you think your rights have been violated, please contact us.