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When Duty Calls

Know your responsibilities when it comes to employees on military leave.
March 1, 2000

When the United States gets involved in a military conflict, reserve forces are activated. The effect on American businesses can be substantial--especially for those whose employees also happen to be in the military. But while you'll need to focus on keeping operations running smoothly despite the absence of key employees who've been called to service, keep in mind that your obligations to those employees are governed by both federal and state laws.

According to Walter J. Liszka, a senior shareholder and senior attorney at Wessels & Pautsch, P.C. in Chicago, all civilian employers, regardless of size, fall under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994, as well as any state laws that regulate military service and/or leave. USERRA covers voluntary and involuntary absences of employees who need to perform military duties. Here, Liszka answers questions regarding your responsibilities to employees on military leave:

Certainly, Liszka says, we all hope for an early end to any military conflict, for the safety of that country's citizens and our military. "Regardless," Liszka continues, "all employers should note their obligations with regard to employees called to active duty."

Jacquelyn Lynn left the corporate world more than 13 years ago and has been writing about business and management from her home office in Winter Park, Florida, ever since.

Contact Sources

Wessels & Pautsch P.C., (312) 461-0500, fax: (312) 461-0595