77 Employment Restoration After Military Service

771 Policy

It is the Postal Service’s policy to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, as amended (USERRA). It is the responsibility of postal management to ensure that personnel actions comply with the requirements of USERRA.

771.1 Eligibility

Reemployment rights are extended to employees who were absent from work because of active duty in the uniformed services, including the following:

  1. Uniformed Services. Consist of the following military branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, their respective reserve components and the Army and Air National Guard; Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service; and any other category of persons who are designated by the President as uniformed service in time of war or emergency.
  2. Types of uniformed service (voluntary or involuntary). Consists of the following: active duty, active duty for training, including initial training, inactive duty training, full–time National Guard duty, or time needed for an examination to determine fitness for any of the above types of duty.
  3. Types of postal positions covered. Includes all career and temporary classifications. Casual employees, in some situations, are covered by USERRA. Temporary and eligible casual employees are reemployed for the remainder of their term if temporary employees are still used. The time spent in active service is not counted against the term of temporary appointment.

771.2 Duration of Uniformed Service

Under USERRA, the cumulative length of absence from employment because of military service is limited to 5 years. The following are exceptions to this limit:

  1. Service required in excess of 5 years to complete the initial period of service obligation.
  2. Service from which a person, without control over the circumstances, is unable to obtain release.
  3. Required training for reservists and National Guard members. This training includes inactive duty drills, active duty training periods, and any additional training mandated as essential to the professional development of service members by a specific secretary of a uniformed service.
  4. Service required under an involuntary order to active duty or to be retained on active duty because of domestic emergencies or national security matters.
  5. Service as a result of an order to active duty or to remain on active duty during a war or a national emergency declared by the President or Congress.
  6. Active duty performed in support of an operational mission for which selected reservists have been involuntarily activated.
  7. Active duty performed in support of a critical mission or critical requirement during the time of no involuntary call–up, no war, or national emergency. The Secretary of a uniformed service has the authority to designate a military operation as a critical mission or requirement.
  8. Federal service by members of the National Guard called into action by the President to suppress an insurrection, repel an invasion, or execute the laws of the United States.

Service time prior to the effective date of USERRA, December 12,1994, will not be applied to the 5–year limit unless it would have counted under the previous law, the Veteran’s Reemployment Rights Statute.

771.3 Character of Service

Under USERRA, persons separated from the uniformed services with a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, or an administrative discharge under other than honorable conditions, are not eligible for restoration to employment or any other benefit the law provides. Likewise, officers dismissed from the service through court–martial or Presidential order lose USERRA protections. Persons dropped from the military rolls for unauthorized absence for more than 3 months or who are imprisoned by a civilian court are not eligible for restoration to employment or any other benefit the law provides.

771.4 Effects of Performance and Conduct on Restoration

Restoration rights may be denied if the conduct of the employee while in the uniformed service was such that the returnee would be disqualified for employment under postal regulations.

771.5 Advance Notification of Entering the Uniformed Services

To ensure entitlement to reemployment and benefits, employees must give their immediate supervisor reasonable notice of the impending absence from work because of service in the uniformed services. The advance notice can be given by the employee orally, in writing, or:

  1. Notification can also be made orally or in writing by the employee’s military command. This situation may arise if military necessity prevents the employee from giving notification.
  2. No advanced notice is required if it is precluded by military necessity, or it is otherwise impossible or unreasonable to give notice.