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In Return

Returning reservists may require special handling.

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This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With many servicemen and servicewomen going back to work from their reservist duties, employers must work hard to make the transition as positive as possible--and to avoid any discrimination that would fall under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). By law, employers must provide the same or equivalent position to returning reservists without a loss of benefits. "[Reservists] just spent months in a war zone," says Alan C. Guarino, CEO and president of Cornell Group International, a staffing service in Newburgh, New York. "Employers need to be cognizant of the acclimation they have to go through."

Yet statistics show many employers aren't as cognizant as they should be. There were 1,315 complaints filed with the Department of Labor from National Guardsmen and reservists in fiscal 2003 regarding discrimination; in 2001, there were 900 complaints.

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