Veteran and Military Status
Northern New Jersey Employment Lawyers Advancing the Rights of Members of the Armed Forces
In New York and New Jersey, workplace discrimination on the basis of past or present military status is illegal. If you have experienced discrimination at work because you are a member or veteran of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard or Air National Guard, learn about your legal rights and options by talking to a knowledgeable employment discrimination lawyer about your situation.
The employment lawyers of The Nirenberg Law Firm in Hackensack, New Jersey are experienced at protecting the rights of employees. To schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options, you can contact us online or call us at (201) 487-2700.
Examples of Military Status Discrimination
If you have experienced workplace discrimination due to your current or past military service, you should consider speaking with an experienced employment law attorney. Any of the following actions may be considered unlawful discrimination if based on your veteran or military status:
- Being fired, laid-off, or wrongfully discharged
- Being forced to resign
- Being demoted
- Being underpaid in comparison to your peers
- Being harassed
Both individuals currently serving in the military and veterans are protected by state and federal anti-discrimination laws. The Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act ("USERRA") is one of those laws. In addition to prohibiting discrimination, under many circumstances it guarantees members of the military the right to return to the same civilian job they held before their military service.
Military Family Leaves Under the Family & Medical Leave Act
Under the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks off from work per year to care for a serious line of duty injury or illness of their spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin who is a member of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves. This is called a "Military Caregiver Leave."
The FMLA also permits eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks off from work per year because their spouse, child, or parent who is in the National Guard or Reserves has been called to active duty, or has been notified that they are about to be called to active duty. This is called a "Qualifying Exigency Leave." It allows qualified employees to take time off for situations such as:
- Problems caused by receiving less than eight days’ notice before deployment
- Official military ceremonies, programs, events or activities
- Childcare activities necessary due to being called to active duty, such as rearranging childcare or enrolling a child in a different school or daycare program
- Making or changing legal or financial arrangements because a covered military member is absent
- Attending counseling needed as a result of a call to active duty for the employee, covered military member, or child of the covered military member, if it is provided by someone other than a health care provider
- Spending up to five days with a member of the military during a temporary rest and recuperation leave during deployment
Employees who take an FMLA Military Caregiver Leave or a Qualifying Exigency Leave are generally entitled to return to their job, or an equivalent one, when they return to work.