November 22, 2011

Thank you, Spencer

Posted in Caregiver Leave, Exigency Leave, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Military Ceremonies, Military Leave, National Guard, Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Act (USERRA), Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) tagged , , , , at 10:07 am by Tom Jacobson

My favorite airman, USAF Academy Cadet 3C Spencer Jacobson, will be home for Thanksgiving break tonight.  Having him here reminds me of how much it means for all of us to be “home for the holidays.”

It also reminds me of how thankful we should be for the thousands of men and women who have chosen to serve our country through their commitment to the military.  As these service members join (or re-join) the civilian workforce, the best way for employers to show their appreciation is to fully understand the legal obligations they owe to our service members and their families.  For example:

    • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) makes it unlawful for any employer to refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate against any employee or applicant because of his or her past or present military service.
    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires larger employers (those with 50 or more employees) to provide leave to eligible employees when they qualify as “military caregivers” or need “exigency leave.”
    • Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requires covered federal government contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment certain categories of veterans; prohibits discrimination against such veterans.
    • Minn. Stat. § 181.535 makes it unlawful for Minnesota employers to question a job applicant about National Guard or military reserve service, unless the employer is a governmental body subject to veterans preference requirements.
    • Minn. Stat. § 181.947 requires Minnesota employers to grant up to ten working days of a leave of absence without pay to an employee whose immediate family member, as a member of the United States armed forces, has been injured or killed while engaged in active service.
    • Minn. Stat. § 181.948 requires Minnesota employers to grant leaves of absence without pay to employees to attend send-off or homecoming ceremonies for mobilized service members who are in their immediate family.
    • Minn. Stat. § 192.325 makes it unlawful for a Minnesota employer to discriminate against an employee because the employee’s spouse, parent, or child is a member of the military; requires employers to provide unpaid time off for employees to attend provide non-paid time off for an employee to attend specified ceremonies and events held on behalf of a family member who serves in the military.
    • Minn. Stat. § 192.34 makes it a crime for any Minnesota employer to discharge or otherwise discriminate against a person because of his or her military service or desire to serve.
    • Minn. Stat. § 197.455 requires Minnesota counties, cities, towns, school districts, and other municipalities and political subdivisions to extend preference points to veterans.
    • Minn. Stat. § 197.46 provides job protection to veterans employed by Minnesota counties, cities, towns, school districts, and other municipalities and political subdivisions.

For more information about which of these laws may apply to your workplace, visit: Minnesota Veterans:  the Road Back Home (Minnesota Department of Human Rights, The Rights Stuff, March 2010); Laws that Protect Veterans and Military Status (Minnesota Department of Human Rights, The Rights Stuff Forum: Minnesota Veterans); United States Department of Labor USERRA Advisor; or,  contact me at

The comments posted in this blog are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be considered as legal advice, and they do not establish an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice regarding your specific situation, please consult your attorney.

  • Copyright 2011 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz, PA

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