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Do USERRA regulations cover absences for military reserve duty, voluntary service and training?

Yes. Reserve duty and training are covered under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). It is irrelevant whether the reason for military service is voluntarily requested by the employee or required service when determining protection under USERRA.

USERRA applies to persons who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the "uniformed services," which include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service commissioned corps, as well as the reserve components of each of these services, and any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency.

Uniformed service includes active duty, active duty for training, inactive duty training (such as drills), initial active-duty training, and funeral honors duty performed by National Guard and reserve members, as well as the period for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine fitness to perform any such duty.

Federal training or service in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard also gives rise to rights under USERRA. In addition, under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act of 2002, certain disaster response work (and authorized training for such work) is considered "service in the uniformed services."

USERRA also protects full-time employment of reservists for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when they are deployed to disasters and emergencies on behalf of FEMA.




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