What Employers Should Know

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Simply stated; Veterans are good for the bottom line.

Education, training, values, leadership and teamwork
Veterans bring all this and more to the workplace. There are many good reasons to hire a veteran. But let’s start with the top 10 reasons below:

Accelerated Learning Curve
Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can join your team with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real world situations. Such background enhances your company's productivity.

The military trains people to lead by example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Veterans understand how genuine teamwork grows out of a responsibility to one's colleagues. Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.

Diversity and Inclusion in Action
Veterans have learned to work side by side with people, regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion and economic status as well as mental, physical and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate and work successfully with many different types of people.

Efficient Performance Under Pressure
Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They have developed the capacity to accomplish priorities on time, in spite of tremendous stress. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

Respect for Procedures
Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates' actions to higher supervisory levels. They know how policies and procedures enable an organization to function efficiently and effectively.

Technology and Globalization
Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.

Veterans know what it means to do "an honest day's work." Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances. This integrity translates into qualities of sincerity and trustworthiness.

Conscious of Health and Safety Standards
Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. Individually, they represent a drug-free workforce that is cognizant of maintaining personal health and fitness. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property and materials.

Triumph Over Adversity
In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina and flexibility. They may have overcome personal disabilities through strengths and determination.

Employer Responsibilities

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is a federal law that protects workers who leave their civilian jobs for voluntary or involuntary military service.

The law requires employers to rehire veterans in their civilian jobs – with accrued seniority – if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must have left the job for the purpose of performing services in the uniformed services. That includes the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard qualify when performing active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty.
  • Must have given prior oral or written notice to the civilian employer. Prior notice is not required if it is precluded by military necessity or otherwise impossible or unreasonable. The law does not specify any minimum period of notice. Circumstances arise, especially in a mobilization scenario, when the individual has very little advance notice from military authorities.
  • Cumulative period or periods of service in the uniformed services, relating to that particular civilian employer, must not have exceeded the five-year limit. All involuntary service and some voluntary service are exempted from the five-year limit.
  • Must have been released from the period of service, without having been "dropped from the rolls" or having received a punitive or other-than-honorable discharge.
  • Must have reported back to work in a timely manner, or have submitted a timely application for reemployment.

If the period of service is less than 31 days, the employee is required to report for work "not later than the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work period on the first full calendar day following the completion of the period of service and the expiration of eight hours after a period allowing for the safe transportation of the person from the place of that service to the person’s residence.

If reporting at that time is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of such person (e.g., automobile accident on return trip), the employee is required to report for work as soon as possible thereafter.

If the period of service was 31-180 days, the employee is required to submit an application for reemployment within 14 days after the end of the period of service. If the period of service was 181 days or more, the individual must submit the application for reemployment within 90 days. These deadlines can be extended by up to two years if the individual is hospitalized or convalescing for a service-connected injury or illness.