A 1999 Defense Department study found that a shocking 31 percent of employersare not aware of any laws protecting reservists. In an extensive 2002 U.S.General
Accounting Office study, most of the reservists contacted reported that theiremployers comply with USERRA provisions, but many had complaints. Some said thattheir supervisors were hostile toward their reserve duty and had activelyencouraged them to leave the reserves. Others alleged employer misconduct that,if confirmed, would be a clear violation of the law, including being deniedmedical benefits upon their return and being forced to use vacation time formilitary duty. In one unit, more than 30 percent of the members surveyed saidthey had problems with their employers when they returned from an extendeddeployment to Bosnia.
Reserve officials, reservists, and employers all commented to the GAO thateven in companies with good policies, reservists may face front-line supervisorswho do not always comply. One reservist reported that despite working for amajor corporation that has received numerous awards for its policy onreservists, he was placed on probation after returning from a nine-month Bosnia mobilization. HR’sjob does not end with rolling out a USERRA compliance policy; enforcement up anddown the line is necessary.
Workforce, January 2003, p. 35 -- Subscribe Now!