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USERRA - Military Leave & Employment

USERRA Rights been violated?

Have you been fired or demoted due to deployment? Contact Us for a free consultation with an attorney who can advise you of your rights under the USERRA

The Washington State Veterans Bar Association is concerned about USERRA violations.  We strive to inform the office of the Attorney General and stay informed about issues with the USERRA here in Washington State. We strive to enforce the employment rights of military veterans. 

Service members with civilian careers who are called to active duty are protected by the USERRA.  If you have suffered employment discrimination as a result of military service then you may have a claim for compensation under the USERRA.  Likewise, veterans who return from military service should come home to a job that has been guaranteed to them by the USERRA.

We are able to advise veterans in Washington State and Nationwide about their rights under the USERRA.

If you have been a victim of employment discrimination because of your military service please contact us and we will call or email you back generally within 24 hours. We will also provide you with a free case evaluation to evaluate your case.

What is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)? Am I eligible?

1. A member of the military leaves to perform military service; and

2. You gave your employer notice of your service;

3. You were gone from your job for less than 5 years (some exceptions apply).

4. After your deployment or service you attempted to return to your job.

5. You were fired or terminated on account of your military service or you were given a less desirable job.

What employment and reemloyment rights do service members, national guard and veterans have under the USERRA?

By law, employers have to accommodate their employees who serve in the military and National Guard. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), says that employers must allow National Guard and members of the military to serve their duty, and must NOT force them to resign from the Military. They can NOT ask a soldier, sailor, airman or marine to use their vacation time for military duty. Additionally, public employers and government must pay military differential pay, this is the difference between their pay at their normal job and pay while on active duty.Private companies are not required to pay this.

Am I eligible?What rights do I have when I return from deployment?

If a member is deployed, the employer(s) must keep that person's job open for when they return. If the employer cannot give the person back their original job then they must give the service member a job that is similar to the original job.  This means that the service member may NOT be demoted because of military service.

What about disabled veterans?

Disabled veterans are also protected by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodate the disability. Additionally, service members that were injured during service have two years to rehabilitate from the time of discharge.

What is the USERRA "Escalator Principal?"

Returning service members must be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent from work because of military service, with the same seniority, status and pay.  USERRA also requires that the employer made reasonable efforts to be made to enable the returning service member to be sucsesful in their quest for reemployment.

When must I return to work?

If the period of service is less than 31 days then you must return to work the next day after you rest for 8 hours. If the period of service is between 31-181 days of service then you have 14 days to report back to work. If you are serving in the military for more than 180 days then you have 90 days to return to work. 

What if my employer does not follow or comply with the USERRA?

Most employers make a effort to follow the USERRA law and comply with the re-employment requirements.  However, there are exceptions. Some companies and even government agencies violate this law. Sometimes these violations are intentional and sometimes it is just a lack of knowledge on the part of the employer or supervisor.

Should I talk to an attorney about my USERRA claim(s)?

I represent clients across the country that have made complaints against their employers for or been wrongfully terminated. I have represented veterans and members of the military in courts in Washington State and other states across the country.  We create a team of attorneys who have all served in the military and are all familiar with the USERRA law to give you the best legal team in the nation.

What can I do to help an attorney evaluate my USERRA claim(s)?

The first thing I generally do when evaluating any claim under USERRA is have my client prepare a written timeline. Creating a timeline of events is important for me to be able to evaluate your claim of military discrimination.  If you were employed by an employer, then deployed or called to active duty and then not given your original job back then we need to be able to have a detailed timeline to build our case. Additionally, it is important to create a timeline of events when they are fresh in your mind and you are able to recall the date, time and location of events like HR conversations and email exchanges.

About Us

The Washington State Veterans Bar Association (WSVBA) is a professional association of attorneys and law students who are Veterans. The WSVBA serves as a network for its members and as a resource and advocate for the 650,000 Veterans who reside in the State of Washington.


Upcoming Events

WSVBA events occur throughout the year in various venues and formats throughout Washington, primarily in Seattle and Spokane. Please check the schedule for event descriptions, times, and dates.

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Our Purpose

The WSVBA advocates for the legal needs and interests of Washington Veterans, and to support our attorney and law student membership.

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