Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus convallis sem tellus, vitae egestas felis vestibule ut.

Error message details.

Reuse Permissions

Request permission to republish or redistribute SHRM content and materials.

Are companies required to pay bonuses to returning military service employees?

In some cases, yes. Under the Uniformed Services Employment Rights and Reinstatement Act (USERRA), an employer is obligated to provide seniority-based bonuses to an employee returning from military leave. A particular right or benefit is seniority-based if it accrues with or is determined by seniority, and depends primarily on whether the benefit is a reward for length of service. An employer that provides bonuses to employees who have been employed with the company for a certain number of years would need to provide the same bonus to employees returning from a military leave of absence as if there were no break in service.

Non-seniority benefits, such as attendance or performance bonuses, are only required to be paid to employees returning from military leave if the employer provides the bonus to employees on other types of leave. According to USERRA regulation 1002.150, if the non-seniority benefits to which employees on furlough or leave of absence are entitled vary according to the type of leave, the employee must be given the most favorable treatment accorded to any comparable form of leave when he or she performs service in the uniformed services. In order to determine whether any two types of leave are comparable, the duration of the leave may be the most significant factor to compare. For instance, a two-day funeral leave will not be "comparable" to an extended leave for service in the uniformed services. In addition to comparing the duration of the absences, other factors such as the purpose of the leave and the ability of the employee to choose when to take the leave should also be considered.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.