Is employee who was fired for excessive absenteeism entitled to reemployment after his return from military service?


Shawn worked for your company for several years before his performance began to deteriorate and he was ultimately terminated for excessive absenteeism. Several months after his discharge, he enlisted in the military. After completing his military service, he has returned to your company seeking reemployment. Is he entitled to his former job?


No, not in this instance. Shawn was fired for excessive absenteeism before you knew anything about his intention to enlist. Because he was discharged for cause, the fact that he later enlisted in the military does not entitle him to reemployment rights. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), to be eligible for reemployment after military leave, a veteran must have been absent from employment due to service in the uniformed services. If an employee leaves a job for reasons unrelated to military service and then subsequently enters military service, that employee is not eligible for reemployment. The person’s motive in leaving civilian employment is the important factor.

Source: CCH When Duty Calls; Military Leave and Veterans’ Rights.

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