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Massachusetts Military Veterans Lawyer


Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Massachusetts USERRA Attorney for Military VeteransMarineFlag

Helping Military Veterans Return to their Jobs

If you leave your civilian job to perform qualified military service, federal law generally requires your employer to rehire you upon your return from military duty. At Sankey Law Offices, we appreciate the service provided by our veterans, and we will aggressively work to ensure that they receive all their reemployment rights. Attorney Jeff Sankey is a retired Marine Colonel and former military judge. He understands the military system and is a passionate supporter of veterans’ rights.

What is USERRA?

The Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, known as USERRA, is a federal law which is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when he or she needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. USERRA covers virtually every individual in the country who serves in the uniformed services, and it applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers. The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefits when they return home, so that they can seek employment free from discrimination because of their service. USERRA also provides protection for disabled veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability.

Veterans are protected from discrimination based upon their military services

If you believe you may have been denied employment or reemployment based upon your military service, or subjected to discrimination on the basis of your service, it is important to act quickly to ensure your rights are protected.

  • Were you denied employment upon your discharge from active duty?
  • Even if you were rehired, were you employed in the same job with the same benefits you would have had if you had not been absent for military service?
  • Were you provided with the training you need to return to your former position?

USERRA provides that returning service-members must be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.

Enforcing Your USERRA Rights

The U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of USERRA violations, but it has no enforcement power. If you file a complaint with VETS and VETS is unable to resolve it, you may request that your case be referred to the Department of Justice or the Office of Special Counsel, as applicable, for representation.

You may also bypass the VETS process and bring a civil action against an employer for violations of USERRA. Attorney Jeff Sankey represents veterans in federal courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island who have been denied USERRA rights.

If violations under USERRA are shown to be willful, the court may award double damages. Individuals who pursue their own claims in court may also be awarded reasonable attorney and expert witness fees if they prevail.

Our legal team can thoroughly review your situation and provide you with an honest assessment of your USERRA rights. We have the experience, dedication and skill to aggressively represent your interests when pursuing a claim against your employer or former employer. Attorney Jeff Sankey can help you pursue justice and accountability for your employer’s violation of USERRA rights, and help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled for your hardships.

Call our Boston attorneys for help with a USERRA claim.

Our law firm is committed to asserting your rights under the law. To learn more about pursuing a USERRA lawsuit, or to discuss your situation with an experienced military lawyer, contact our law firm in Braintree, Boston, or Mansfield.