U.S. Army Reserve member Kyle A. Sharp was ordered to report for active military training in the United States Army in May 2010. Sharp notified his employer ServiceMaster 24-Hour and the owner-operator, Mr. Tullar, of his upcoming military service. Upon his release from active military training, Sharp notified Tullar that he wanted to return to his job as a full-time employee with ServiceMaster. Tullar informed Sharp that a new crew chief had replaced him in his absence and would be continuing in that position and did not reemploy Sharp. Sharp contacted the United States Justice Department and they filed suit against ServiceMaster 24-Hour and Gregory Tullar, ServiceMaster’s owner and operator, alleging that they violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). The department alleged in its complaint that ServiceMaster and Tullar violated Sharp’s rights under USERRA when they failed to reemploy him following his return from active military duty in November 2010. Under the terms of the consent decree, ServiceMaster and Tullar will pay Sharp $15,000 in back pay to resolve Sharp’s USERRA claims.
Subject to certain limitations, USERRA requires that individuals who leave their civilian jobs to serve in the military be reemployed promptly by their civilian employers in the same positions, or in positions comparable to the positions, they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service. If you are a member of the National Guard or a Reservist, your employer is obligated to return to your pre-service position or a similar position, with certain conditions. If they fail to do so, you may contact the U.S. Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment Division or the U.S. Justice Department to determine your rights in the situation.