By Latoi D. Mayo
USERRA litigation is quickly becoming an emerging issue in the employment arena. Whether returning from combat or other military service, increasing numbers of service members are actively protecting their employment rights under the federal law providing for reemployment rights of veterans and returning service members-the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The law allows an employee to enforce his or her rights by filing a court action directly, without filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. A court may order an employer to compensate a prevailing claimant for lost wages or benefits. USERRA allows for liquidated damages for “willful” violations.
USERRA is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when that person needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. USERRA covers virtually every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers. Continue reading