What is USERRA?
USERRA is the Uniformed Services Emplovment and Reemployment Rights Act. It provides certain guarantees to ensure that military members with civilian careers are not discriminated against because of their service. Among other things, under certain conditions, USERRA requires employers to put individuals back to work in their civilian jobs after military service. USERRA also protects service members from discrimination in the workplace based on their military service or affiliation. Although they work locally through other organizations, the U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for this program.
What is ESGR?
ESGR is the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. ESGR is a DoD program that works with employers to help them support and value the military service of their employees, and there is an ESGR Vermont Office. They are a great resource for Vermont employers who want to learn more about their responsibilities to their military employees.
Who Should I Contact if I Feel My Employer has Discriminated Against Me Because of My Military Service?
You have three options.
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
The US DOL is the official partner with the U.S. Department of Justice on USERRA complaints. Before the Department of Justice will become involved, you must first file with US DOL.
Vermont U.S. Department of Labor - (802) 828-2057
You have the right to file a USERRA lawsuit with your own private counsel or on your own.
Is their a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Act?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments. If you feel your rights under the SCRA have been violated, you should contacted the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program office to see if the SCRA applies. If you are a member of the Vermont National Guard, contact their Judge Advocate Office at Camp Johnson. Other service members should contact the Hanscom Air Force Base Judge Advocate, which is just outside Boston, Massachusetts.
- VT National Guard Judge Advocate’s Office - (802) 338-3160
- Hanscom Air Force Base Judge Advocate’s Office - (781) 377-2361