Bargaining unit employees returning from active military service have rights that unions can enforce through their grievance-arbitration procedures. Among the most important are that they must receive promotions and job offers that they would have received but for the fact they were away on military service. The Office of Special Counsel, which also enforces the law, recently announced four successful cases. We thought you would like to read a short summary of each to get more familiar with the Act and what you can do for employees.
The following four summaries are taken verbatim from an OSC press release dated November 4, 2013
- The position held by an Army police officer, who was also a member of the Army Reserves, changed while he was deployed, resulting in promotions for his colleagues. Upon his return from active duty, however, the reservist was neither put into the new position nor promoted. OSC intervened and the agency agreed to give the officer a retroactive promotion, provide him with the corresponding back pay, and place him in the correct position description and command structure with his colleagues.
- Upon an Air Force Reservist’s return from active duty, the Department of Energy refused to promote her, after initially promising that it would. Management officials indicated that her absence for military service was the reason for this denial. OSC informed the agency of its obligations under USERRA. The Department of Energy then gave the reservist a retroactive promotion with corresponding back pay and reassigned her within the agency, enabling her to get the experience and training necessary for further promotion.
- A Marine deployed overseas was tentatively selected for a nuclear transport courier position with the Department of Energy. His tentative selection was withdrawn when he was unable to complete a required drug test within 30 days, due to his overseas deployment. OSC contacted the agency, which agreed to restore his tentative selection and to reschedule his drug testing so that he could proceed with the employment process.
- An Army officer received a tentative job offer for a Customs and Border Clearance Agent position with the Department of the Army in Vicenza, Italy. However, after he informed the agency that he was in the middle of a 10-month active duty deployment to Afghanistan, the Army rescinded the job offer. After OSC became involved, the agency extended a new employment offer.