NEW YORK NURSE: May 2008
Q.: I’m RN and a member of the armed forces and have been called to active duty in Iraq. I’m worried about what will happen to my job. Even if I can keep it, what will happen to my seniority should I be away for an extended period? Do I have any legal rights regarding my job and seniority?
A.: Yes, you do. Under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, commonly known by its acronym, “USERRA,” employers may not discriminate against employees who participate in active military service with respect to hiring, promotion, retention, or any employment benefit.
This includes, but is not limited to the following:
Employers are also required to continue benefits for employees covered by USERRA, including health insurance, for up to 18 months and subject to employee premium co-payment requirements, and retirement benefits as specified in the act.
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to: RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.