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Service With a Smile

Respecting the rights of employees serving in the uniformed services is more than a patriotic duty: It's a legal obligation.

This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When your newly hired sales manager told you he was in the Army Reserve, you figured it meant giving him a little time off now and then. But the war on terrorism changed all that, and now your employee's unit has been deployed far away for who knows how long. What are your obligations?

Time to find out. "Most employers think of military leave as one weekend a month and two weeks over the summer," says Jason Branciforte, an attorney with Littler Mendelson in Washington, DC, who specializes in military leave issues. "They don't realize it might be years." After all, the last time U.S. reservists were called up was during the Gulf War, when many of today's small businesses didn't even exist.

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