Understanding USERRA Discrimination Protection

Employment discrimination can happen to any employee, including employees who have served our country. Just like there are laws to protect employees, there are additional laws that protect members of the armed forces.


The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a set of laws that protect members of the armed forces, National Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Services. This law protects these members from discrimination during the initial hiring process, with reemployment, as well as when it comes to promotions and maintaining employee benefits upon the basis that the employee needs to take a military leave of absence. The USERRA also prohibits any form of retaliation when an employee enforces their rights under the USERRA.

Who Qualifies For USERRA?

In order to qualify for USERRA, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Has either applied for employment, or currently holds a civilian job.
  • Has provided written or verbal notice to their employer that they will be taking a military leave of absence.
  • Has not exceeded a 5-year cumulative limit on their service period.
  • Has been released for service under a qualified condition, not including dishonorable discharge.
  • Upon return, has either reported to previous civilian job, or has applied for reemployment in a timely manner.

Since USERRA rights can be difficult to understand, it is important to make yourself as knowledgeable as possible.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against or have experienced retaliation due to your military leave, contact an employment attorney as soon as possible.

The employment attorneys at Maduff & Maduff have been specializing in discrimination, harassment, and overtime and wage theft for more than 20 years. Contact us with questions or for help with your employment law concerns today.