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You Must Provide Advanced Notice to Your Employer
To obtain reemployment rights under USERRA, you must provide notice to your civilian employer before leaving for military duty. Prior notice is excused if precluded by military necessity or if giving notice is impossible or unreasonable.
You Must Receive an Honorable or General Discharge
To be entitled to reemployment rights under USERRA, you must have received an Honorable or General Discharge when you left active duty.
You Must Promptly Return to Work
After conclusion of your military duty, you must promptly return to work. What is considered a prompt return depends on the length of your military duty which resulted in your absence from work.
- Military duty of 1 to 30 days: You must report back to work at the first shift beginning after safe travel time from your military duty site plus eight hours rest.
- Military duty of 31 to 180 days: You must request reemployment within 14 days after completing your military duty.
- Military duty of 181 days or more: You must request reemployment within 90 days after completing your military duty.
You Must Only Be Absent a Cumulative Period of 5 Years
To qualify for reemployment rights under USERRA, your cumulative absence due to military service cannot exceed five years. This five-year cumulative service total is per employer.
For the National Guard and Reserves, the two-week annual training and monthly weekend drills do not count toward the five-year cumulative service limitation.
Further, service under an order to, or to remain on, active duty (other than for training) because of a war or national emergency declared by the President or Congress is also exempt from the five-year limitation. This includes individuals who are involuntarily ordered to active duty and individuals who volunteer for such duty and receive orders to active duty.