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Is My Job Protected When I'm Deployed?

Deployment has been an all-too-common occurrence in the past 10 years. Not only deployment, but redeployment. As hard as that is on a soldier's family, finances and mental state, they may also worried about losing their job or being replaced at work.

Employers cannot directly fire you for being deployed overseas or anywhere else. Federal law prohibits it as long as you return to your job with honor status. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

Protects members of every service, from Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force to Coast Guard and National Guard members.

Employers are required to reinstate you in your prior position or the position you would have attained if you had never left. This includes any seniority and pay grade you would have achieved if you had not been deployed. Employers are also required to provide up to 24 months of continued health care coverage while you are deployed.

Military members also do not have to use any paid or unpaid leave for military deployment, but it does not require your employer to continue paying you while you are gone. You can continue accruing benefits in retirement plans, and the time deployed does count toward vesting, but your employer is not required to contributed to 401k plans while you are deployed.

If you are terminated while on leave, your immediate supervisor as well as your company can be held liable.

You shouldn't have to worry about losing your job while serving in military service. If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, due to military deployment, leave or status, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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