Know Your Rights: What Are Your Employment Rights as a Serviceman?

As a past, present, or future serviceman, it can sometimes be challenging to find the right employment opportunities. There are a variety of legal rights that apply specifically to servicemen though, and being aware of them can help ensure you are treated fairly at all times. This blog offers an introduction to the rights you have, and how they can impact your employment opportunities. If you feel that you are or have been treated unjustly, or you have any employment discrimination questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Carla D. Aikens to schedule a consultation.

Your Legal Rights as a Serviceman

Both the federal government and Michigan law have several laws in place to help protect those who have served in the military, as well as those who are currently serving. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 is one of the most significant laws on the books. It states that employers may not deny anyone employment, reemployment, promotions, or any other benefit because of an individual’s past, present, or future military service or the requirements of that service.

USERRA offers a variety of protections for those who have served, which are all listed here. Michigan has a similar law in place too. What is really nice about these types of laws is that servicemen are entitled to receive the benefits from whichever law happens to be more favorable in their case. Usually, federal laws take precedence over state laws, but in the case of USERRA, if state laws are more favorable to your case, then that is the law that courts will use.

Michigan law also prevents employers from discharging employees because they were required to serve in the military or naval forces. For example, if someone who is in the Army Reserves gets called up to perform their duty, their employer must hold their job for them for when they return. Employers also cannot retaliate against their military employees. An example of this would be reducing the employee’s salary after they’ve been away.

Benefits for Employers

While employers have to accept the potential disruption to their business that hiring a serviceman will cause, there are also many benefits that can help to offset this possibility. Those who have served in the military receive extensive training in a variety of fields. More concretely, there are a variety of government programs that are designed to incentivize hiring veterans. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), for example, can provide employers with benefits valued at $1200-$9600 depending on the position.

Contact Us

If you happen to run into an employer that doesn’t see it that way, there are legal protections in place that can help ensure you are given fair employment opportunities. Contact Attorney Carla Aikens for more information.

Written by Carla D. Aikens

Carla D. Aikens

After years of working for large law firms on major corporate cases, Carla D. Aikens chose to go out on her own and found her own firm because she is passionate about helping people of whom others have taken advantage.