Q: What do I need to do if I was fired from my job a month after I was activated with my reserves unit?
I have worked with my employer since Nov. 2018. In March of 2020, our restaurant was switched to curbside pickups only. They gave us the option to switch to unemployment because they would only keep a couple employees to work due to covid. April, I received orders for active duty starting 4/20 for covid support. I emailed my letter to employer notice to one of my managers. The notice stated I would be activated 4/20 - 9/31. Our mission changed, we didn’t go through the full date. This week I called to be put back on the schedule, one of my managers told me I would have to reapply because I was terminated after a month of being gone. I reapplied & was emailed that someone would reach out to me for orientation. Today, I still didn’t hear from anyone. I called & spoke with a manager to see if I would get my same pay rate, benefits, & other things I had before I was activated. She told me that I most likely wouldn’t and to call home office. I did & left a message for the district manager.
A: I highly recommend reaching out to an employment attorney in your area to discuss options. This sounds like discrimination based on military service, which would be a violation of USERRA. The employer is required to place you back in the same position (or the position you would have attained had you not been absent) with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority.
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