77 Employment Restoration After Military Service

771 Policy

771.1 General

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

771.2 Eligibility

Reemployment rights are extended to employees who were absent to perform duty in the U.S. uniformed services, as defined by the current version of USERRA, if the employee fulfills USERRA’s requirements for reemployment:

  1. Uniformed services. Includes but is not limited to the following U.S. military branches:
    1. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, their respective reserve components, and the Army and Air National Guard;
    2. Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service;
    3. Reserve employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Civilian service as an Intermittent Disaster Response Appointee for the National Disaster Medical System; and
    4. Any other category of persons designated by the U.S. President as uniformed service in time of war or emergency.

    For purposes of this policy section, the term uniformed services will be used, except for those provisions that relate specifically to noncareer military service.

    Note: If any inquiries are received regarding the definition of covered uniformed services, or if an employee presents deployment orders from any agency that does not meet the definition of “uniformed services,” Postal Services Human Resources (HR) must consult the Postal Service Law Department.

  2. Types of uniformed service (voluntary or involuntary; paid or unpaid). Consists of the following:
    1. Active duty;
    2. Active duty for training, including initial training;
    3. Inactive duty training;
    4. Full-time U.S. National Guard duty; or
    5. Time needed for an examination to determine fitness for any of the above types of duty.
  3. Types of Postal Service positions covered. Includes all career, noncareer and temporary classifications. Temporary employees, who are not eligible for conversion to career employees under the terms of their appointment are covered by USERRA during their term of temporary appointment. Temporary employees are reemployed for the remainder of their term if temporary employees are still used.

771.3 Duration of Uniformed Service

Under USERRA, the cumulative length of absence from noncareer and career employment because of uniformed service is limited to five (5) years – except that any such period of service must not include any service covered by any exception described in USERRA. HR must consult the Law Department before making any determination related to five (5) years or more of uniformed service.

Only HR, after consulting the Law Department, may deny reemployment under this provision.

771.4 Character of Service

Under USERRA, persons separated from the U.S. uniformed services with a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, or an administrative discharge under other than honorable conditions (OTH), are not eligible for restoration to employment or any other benefit that the law provides.

Likewise, officers dismissed from the service through court–martial or U.S. Presidential order lose USERRA protections. Persons dropped from the military rolls for unauthorized absence for more than three (3) months, or who are imprisoned by a civilian court, are not eligible for restoration to employment or any other benefit that USERRA provides.

771.5 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 Service regulations. HR, in consultation with the Law Department, determines reemployment eligibility for such persons.

771.6 Advance Notification of Entering the Uniformed Services

Any person whose absence from a position of employment is necessitated by reason of service in the U.S. uniformed services will be entitled to the reemployment rights and benefits and other employment benefits of this chapter if the person (or an appropriate officer of the uniformed service in which such service is performed) has given advance written or verbal notice of such service to his or her immediate manager or supervisor.

No notice is required if giving such notice is precluded by military necessity or, under all relevant circumstances, giving such notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable. A coworker, including a union representative, is not permitted to give advance notice for the employee.

Only HR, after consulting the Law Department, may deny reemployment under this provision.