When Reservists are Called to Duty – What Your Company Should Know

In light of the September 11 terrorist attacks, businesses around the country may find themselves having to adjust frequently as reservists are called upon to serve their county.

Two issues that companies may face when their employees are called upon, is how to replace them or handle their immediate responsibilities. A second issue is what to do about salary and benefits – should you as a company continue paying reservists or guard members or provide their families with health insurance?

Companies faced with employees being called to duty have to decide whether it makes more sense to temporarily replace them or to see if co-workers can reasonably be expected to carry an increased workload. The answer will depend on what the job entails and whether other employees are trained or skilled enough to do the work. The solution might be to juggle responsibilities so that experienced staffers handle the most critical work – even if it means they have to be brought up to speed quickly – and hire temporary workers to do some of the less-pressing tasks.

How an employer handles such issues such as pay, reinstatement and seniority for reservists and guard members is addressed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), enacted in 1994 and provides protection and rights of reinstatement to employees who participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

To find out more about your responsibilities as an employer and how to handle this if the need would arise, you can visit the Web site at www.esgr.org or by calling 800-336-4590.

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