Attorneys in the Employment and Labor Law Unit (ELLU) defend the agency against claims alleging violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA is a federal law, passed in 1994, that protects military service members and veterans from employment discrimination on the basis of their service, and allows them to regain their civilian jobs following a period of uniformed service.
USERRA applies to members of the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard, and other “Uniformed Services” (including the National Disaster Medical System and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service). The law ensures that service members are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their military service, are promptly re-employed in their civilian jobs upon return from duty, and are not discriminated against by employers because of past, present, or future military service.
The Office of Special Counsel, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, investigates and enforces USERRA claims involving federal government employers. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has jurisdiction to adjudicate claims brought by individuals alleging violations under USERRA only after presenting the claims to the Department of Labor and exhausting the Department of Labor’s process.