Uniformed Services Rights and Protections
Section 206 of the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) applies certain rights and protections of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) to covered employees performing service in the “uniformed services.” The uniformed services includes the Armed Forces (active and reserve), the National Guard, the Public Health Service, or any other category designated by the President during time of war or emergency.
In general, USERRA protects employees performing service in the uniformed services from discrimination – such as in hiring, discharge, or promotion – and provides rights to certain benefits while performing service and upon the completion of service. These rights include retaining pension plan rights and continuing civilian health plan coverage.
Once an employee completes a service obligation, the employee is entitled to be reemployed in the same position or a similar position upon their return to work. To be eligible for reemployment, an employee must give adequate notice to his or her employer (if possible) before leaving work for duty in the uniformed service and must not have exceeded certain time limits for duty in the uniformed service. An employee must also not have left the uniformed service with less than an honorable discharge. There are certain other limitations and conditions on reemployment rights.