[USC02] 38 USC PART III, CHAPTER 43, SUBCHAPTER II: EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS; PROHIBITIONS
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38 USC PART III, CHAPTER 43, SUBCHAPTER II: EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS; PROHIBITIONS
From Title 38—VETERANS' BENEFITSPART III—READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITSCHAPTER 43—EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER II—EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS; PROHIBITIONS

§4311. Discrimination against persons who serve in the uniformed services and acts of reprisal prohibited

(a) A person who is a member of, applies to be a member of, performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in a uniformed service shall not be denied initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any benefit of employment by an employer on the basis of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation.

(b) An employer may not discriminate in employment against or take any adverse employment action against any person because such person (1) has taken an action to enforce a protection afforded any person under this chapter, (2) has testified or otherwise made a statement in or in connection with any proceeding under this chapter, (3) has assisted or otherwise participated in an investigation under this chapter, or (4) has exercised a right provided for in this chapter. The prohibition in this subsection shall apply with respect to a person regardless of whether that person has performed service in the uniformed services.

(c) An employer shall be considered to have engaged in actions prohibited—

(1) under subsection (a), if the person's membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services is a motivating factor in the employer's action, unless the employer can prove that the action would have been taken in the absence of such membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation for service; or

(2) under subsection (b), if the person's (A) action to enforce a protection afforded any person under this chapter, (B) testimony or making of a statement in or in connection with any proceeding under this chapter, (C) assistance or other participation in an investigation under this chapter, or (D) exercise of a right provided for in this chapter, is a motivating factor in the employer's action, unless the employer can prove that the action would have been taken in the absence of such person's enforcement action, testimony, statement, assistance, participation, or exercise of a right.


(d) The prohibitions in subsections (a) and (b) shall apply to any position of employment, including a position that is described in section 4312(d)(1)(C) of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3153; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(3), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3334.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4311 was renumbered section 7611 of this title.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–275 added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: "An employer shall be considered to have denied a person initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or a benefit of employment in violation of this section if the person's membership, application for membership, service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services is a motivating factor in the employer's action, unless the employer can prove that the action would have been taken in the absence of such membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation."

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 104–275 added subsecs. (c) and (d) and struck out former subsec. (c) which read as follows:

"(c)(1) An employer may not discriminate in employment against or take any adverse employment action against any person because such person has taken an action to enforce a protection afforded any person under this chapter, has testified or otherwise made a statement in or in connection with any proceeding under this chapter, has assisted or otherwise participated in an investigation under this chapter, or has exercised a right provided for in this chapter.

"(2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to a person regardless of whether that person has performed service in the uniformed services and shall apply to any position of employment, including a position that is described in section 4312(d)(1)(C)."

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 13, 1994, except as otherwise provided, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4312. Reemployment rights of persons who serve in the uniformed services

(a) Subject to subsections (b), (c), and (d) and to section 4304, any person whose absence from a position of employment is necessitated by reason of service in the uniformed services shall be entitled to the reemployment rights and benefits and other employment benefits of this chapter if—

(1) 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 such person's employer;

(2) the cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences from a position of employment with that employer by reason of service in the uniformed services does not exceed five years; and

(3) except as provided in subsection (f), the person reports to, or submits an application for reemployment to, such employer in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e).


(b) No notice is required under subsection (a)(1) if the giving of such notice is precluded by military necessity or, under all of the relevant circumstances, the giving of such notice is otherwise impossible or unreasonable. A determination of military necessity for the purposes of this subsection shall be made pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense and shall not be subject to judicial review.

(c) Subsection (a) shall apply to a person who is absent from a position of employment by reason of service in the uniformed services if such person's cumulative period of service in the uniformed services, with respect to the employer relationship for which a person seeks reemployment, does not exceed five years, except that any such period of service shall not include any service—

(1) that is required, beyond five years, to complete an initial period of obligated service;

(2) during which such person was unable to obtain orders releasing such person from a period of service in the uniformed services before the expiration of such five-year period and such inability was through no fault of such person;

(3) performed as required pursuant to section 10147 of title 10, under section 502(a) or 503 of title 32, or to fulfill additional training requirements determined and certified in writing by the Secretary concerned, to be necessary for professional development, or for completion of skill training or retraining; or

(4) performed by a member of a uniformed service who is—

(A) ordered to or retained on active duty under section 688, 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, 12304a, 12304b, or 12305 of title 10 or under section 331, 332, 359, 360, 367, or 712 1 of title 14;

(B) ordered to or retained on active duty (other than for training) under any provision of law because of a war or national emergency declared by the President or the Congress, as determined by the Secretary concerned;

(C) ordered to active duty (other than for training) in support, as determined by the Secretary concerned, of an operational mission for which personnel have been ordered to active duty under section 12304 of title 10;

(D) ordered to active duty in support, as determined by the Secretary concerned, of a critical mission or requirement of the uniformed services;

(E) called into Federal service as a member of the National Guard under chapter 15 of title 10 or under section 12406 of title 10; or

(F) ordered to full-time National Guard duty (other than for training) under section 502(f)(2)(A) of title 32 when authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for the purpose of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds, as determined by the Secretary concerned.


(d)(1) An employer is not required to reemploy a person under this chapter if—

(A) the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make such reemployment impossible or unreasonable;

(B) in the case of a person entitled to reemployment under subsection (a)(3), (a)(4), or (b)(2)(B) of section 4313, such employment would impose an undue hardship on the employer; or

(C) the employment from which the person leaves to serve in the uniformed services is for a brief, nonrecurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation that such employment will continue indefinitely or for a significant period.


(2) In any proceeding involving an issue of whether—

(A) any reemployment referred to in paragraph (1) is impossible or unreasonable because of a change in an employer's circumstances,

(B) any accommodation, training, or effort referred to in subsection (a)(3), (a)(4), or (b)(2)(B) of section 4313 would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or

(C) the employment referred to in paragraph (1)(C) is for a brief, nonrecurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation that such employment will continue indefinitely or for a significant period,


the employer shall have the burden of proving the impossibility or unreasonableness, undue hardship, or the brief or nonrecurrent nature of the employment without a reasonable expectation of continuing indefinitely or for a significant period.

(e)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a person referred to in subsection (a) shall, upon the completion of a period of service in the uniformed services, notify the employer referred to in such subsection of the person's intent to return to a position of employment with such employer as follows:

(A) In the case of a person whose period of service in the uniformed services was less than 31 days, by reporting to the employer—

(i) not later than the beginning of the first full 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; or

(ii) as soon as possible after the expiration of the eight-hour period referred to in clause (i), if reporting within the period referred to in such clause is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the person.


(B) In the case of a person who is absent from a position of employment for a period of any length for the purposes of an examination to determine the person's fitness to perform service in the uniformed services, by reporting in the manner and time referred to in subparagraph (A).

(C) In the case of a person whose period of service in the uniformed services was for more than 30 days but less than 181 days, by submitting an application for reemployment with the employer not later than 14 days after the completion of the period of service or if submitting such application within such period is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of the person, the next first full calendar day when submission of such application becomes possible.

(D) In the case of a person whose period of service in the uniformed services was for more than 180 days, by submitting an application for reemployment with the employer not later than 90 days after the completion of the period of service.


(2)(A) A person who is hospitalized for, or convalescing from, an illness or injury incurred in, or aggravated during, the performance of service in the uniformed services shall, at the end of the period that is necessary for the person to recover from such illness or injury, report to the person's employer (in the case of a person described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1)) or submit an application for reemployment with such employer (in the case of a person described in subparagraph (C) or (D) of such paragraph). Except as provided in subparagraph (B), such period of recovery may not exceed two years.

(B) Such two-year period shall be extended by the minimum time required to accommodate the circumstances beyond such person's control which make reporting within the period specified in subparagraph (A) impossible or unreasonable.

(3) A person who fails to report or apply for employment or reemployment within the appropriate period specified in this subsection shall not automatically forfeit such person's entitlement to the rights and benefits referred to in subsection (a) but shall be subject to the conduct rules, established policy, and general practices of the employer pertaining to explanations and discipline with respect to absence from scheduled work.

(f)(1) A person who submits an application for reemployment in accordance with subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (e)(1) or subsection (e)(2) shall provide to the person's employer (upon the request of such employer) documentation to establish that—

(A) the person's application is timely;

(B) the person has not exceeded the service limitations set forth in subsection (a)(2) (except as permitted under subsection (c)); and

(C) the person's entitlement to the benefits under this chapter has not been terminated pursuant to section 4304.


(2) Documentation of any matter referred to in paragraph (1) that satisfies regulations prescribed by the Secretary shall satisfy the documentation requirements in such paragraph.

(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the failure of a person to provide documentation that satisfies regulations prescribed pursuant to paragraph (2) shall not be a basis for denying reemployment in accordance with the provisions of this chapter if the failure occurs because such documentation does not exist or is not readily available at the time of the request of the employer. If, after such reemployment, documentation becomes available that establishes that such person does not meet one or more of the requirements referred to in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1), the employer of such person may terminate the employment of the person and the provision of any rights or benefits afforded the person under this chapter.

(B) An employer who reemploys a person absent from a position of employment for more than 90 days may require that the person provide the employer with the documentation referred to in subparagraph (A) before beginning to treat the person as not having incurred a break in service for pension purposes under section 4318(a)(2)(A).

(4) An employer may not delay or attempt to defeat a reemployment obligation by demanding documentation that does not then exist or is not then readily available.

(g) The right of a person to reemployment under this section shall not entitle such person to retention, preference, or displacement rights over any person with a superior claim under the provisions of title 5, United States Code, relating to veterans and other preference eligibles.

(h) In any determination of a person's entitlement to protection under this chapter, the timing, frequency, and duration of the person's training or service, or the nature of such training or service (including voluntary service) in the uniformed services, shall not be a basis for denying protection of this chapter if the service does not exceed the limitations set forth in subsection (c) and the notice requirements established in subsection (a)(1) and the notification requirements established in subsection (e) are met.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3153; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(4), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3334; Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title V, §575, Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1428; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title V, §562, Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 829.)

References in Text

Sections 331, 332, 359, 360, 367, and 712 of title 14, referred to in subsec. (c)(4)(A), were redesignated sections 2127, 2128, 2308, 2309, 2314, and 3713, respectively, of title 14 by Pub. L. 115–282, title I, §§112(b), 113(b), 118(b), Dec. 4, 2018, 132 Stat. 4216, 4221, 4233, and references to section 331, 332, 359, 360, 367, or 712 of title 14 deemed to refer to such redesignated sections, see section 123(b)(1) of Pub. L. 115–282, set out as a References to Redesignated Sections of Title 14 note preceding section 101 of Title 14, Coast Guard.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4312 was renumbered section 7612 of this title.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (c)(4)(A). Pub. L. 114–92 inserted "12304a, 12304b," after "12304,".

2011—Subsec. (c)(4)(F). Pub. L. 112–81 added subpar. (F).

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(A), substituted "whose absence from a position of employment is necessitated" for "who is absent from a position of employment".

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(B)(i), substituted "section 10147" for "section 270".

Subsec. (c)(4)(A). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(B)(ii)(I), substituted "section 688, 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, or 12305" for "section 672(a), 672(g), 673, 673b, 673c, or 688".

Subsec. (c)(4)(B). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(B)(ii)(II), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: "ordered to or retained on active duty (other than for training) under any provision of law during a war or during a national emergency declared by the President or the Congress;".

Subsec. (c)(4)(C). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(B)(ii)(III), substituted "section 12304" for "section 673b".

Subsec. (c)(4)(E). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(B)(ii)(IV), substituted "section 12406" for "section 3500 or 8500".

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 104–275, §311(4)(C), substituted "is for a brief, nonrecurrent period and there is no reasonable expectation" for "is brief or for a nonrecurrent period and without a reasonable expectation".

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by section 311(4)(A), (B)(ii)(II), (C) of Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, and amendment by section 311(4)(B)(i), (ii)(I), (III), (IV) of Pub. L. 104–275 effective Dec. 1, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, and with provisions relating to satisfaction of the notification requirement of subsec. (a)(1) of this section, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§4313. Reemployment positions

(a) Subject to subsection (b) (in the case of any employee) and sections 4314 and 4315 (in the case of an employee of the Federal Government), a person entitled to reemployment under section 4312, upon completion of a period of service in the uniformed services, shall be promptly reemployed in a position of employment in accordance with the following order of priority:

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4), in the case of a person whose period of service in the uniformed services was for less than 91 days—

(A) in the position of employment in which the person would have been employed if the continuous employment of such person with the employer had not been interrupted by such service, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform; or

(B) in the position of employment in which the person was employed on the date of the commencement of the service in the uniformed services, only if the person is not qualified to perform the duties of the position referred to in subparagraph (A) after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person.


(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4), in the case of a person whose period of service in the uniformed services was for more than 90 days—

(A) in the position of employment in which the person would have been employed if the continuous employment of such person with the employer had not been interrupted by such service, or a position of like seniority, status and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform; or

(B) in the position of employment in which the person was employed on the date of the commencement of the service in the uniformed services, or a position of like seniority, status and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform, only if the person is not qualified to perform the duties of a position referred to in subparagraph (A) after reasonable efforts by the employer to qualify the person.


(3) In the case of a person who has a disability incurred in, or aggravated during, such service, and who (after reasonable efforts by the employer to accommodate the disability) is not qualified due to such disability to be employed in the position of employment in which the person would have been employed if the continuous employment of such person with the employer had not been interrupted by such service—

(A) in any other position which is equivalent in seniority, status, and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform or would become qualified to perform with reasonable efforts by the employer; or

(B) if not employed under subparagraph (A), in a position which is the nearest approximation to a position referred to in subparagraph (A) in terms of seniority, status, and pay consistent with circumstances of such person's case.


(4) In the case of a person who (A) is not qualified to be employed in (i) the position of employment in which the person would have been employed if the continuous employment of such person with the employer had not been interrupted by such service, or (ii) in the position of employment in which such person was employed on the date of the commencement of the service in the uniformed services for any reason (other than disability incurred in, or aggravated during, service in the uniformed services), and (B) cannot become qualified with reasonable efforts by the employer, in any other position which is the nearest approximation to a position referred to first in clause (A)(i) and then in clause (A)(ii) which such person is qualified to perform, with full seniority.


(b)(1) If two or more persons are entitled to reemployment under section 4312 in the same position of employment and more than one of them has reported for such reemployment, the person who left the position first shall have the prior right to reemployment in that position.

(2) Any person entitled to reemployment under section 4312 who is not reemployed in a position of employment by reason of paragraph (1) shall be entitled to be reemployed as follows:

(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in any other position of employment referred to in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2), as the case may be (in the order of priority set out in the applicable subsection), that provides a similar status and pay to a position of employment referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, consistent with the circumstances of such person's case, with full seniority.

(B) In the case of a person who has a disability incurred in, or aggravated during, a period of service in the uniformed services that requires reasonable efforts by the employer for the person to be able to perform the duties of the position of employment, in any other position referred to in subsection (a)(3) (in the order of priority set out in that subsection) that provides a similar status and pay to a position referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, consistent with circumstances of such person's case, with full seniority.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3157; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(5), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3335.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4313 was renumbered section 7613 of this title.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 104–275 substituted "uniformed services" for "uniform services" in cl. (A)(ii) and "which is the nearest approximation to a position referred to first in clause (A)(i) and then in clause (A)(ii) which" for "of lesser status and pay which" in cl. (B).

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, except that subsec. (a)(3) of this section applicable to reemployments initiated on or after Aug. 1, 1990, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4314. Reemployment by the Federal Government

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d), if a person is entitled to reemployment by the Federal Government under section 4312, such person shall be reemployed in a position of employment as described in section 4313.

(b)(1) If the Director of the Office of Personnel Management makes a determination described in paragraph (2) with respect to a person who was employed by a Federal executive agency at the time the person entered the service from which the person seeks reemployment under this section, the Director shall—

(A) identify a position of like seniority, status, and pay at another Federal executive agency that satisfies the requirements of section 4313 and for which the person is qualified; and

(B) ensure that the person is offered such position.


(2) The Director shall carry out the duties referred to in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) if the Director determines that—

(A) the Federal executive agency that employed the person referred to in such paragraph no longer exists and the functions of such agency have not been transferred to another Federal executive agency; or

(B) it is impossible or unreasonable for the agency to reemploy the person.


(c) If the employer of a person described in subsection (a) was, at the time such person entered the service from which such person seeks reemployment under this section, a part of the judicial branch or the legislative branch of the Federal Government, and such employer determines that it is impossible or unreasonable for such employer to reemploy such person, such person shall, upon application to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, be ensured an offer of employment in an alternative position in a Federal executive agency on the basis described in subsection (b).

(d) If the adjutant general of a State determines that it is impossible or unreasonable to reemploy a person who was a National Guard technician employed under section 709 of title 32, such person shall, upon application to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, be ensured an offer of employment in an alternative position in a Federal executive agency on the basis described in subsection (b).

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3158.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4314 was renumbered section 7614 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4315. Reemployment by certain Federal agencies

(a) The head of each agency referred to in section 2302(a)(2)(C)(ii) of title 5 shall prescribe procedures for ensuring that the rights under this chapter apply to the employees of such agency.

(b) In prescribing procedures under subsection (a), the head of an agency referred to in that subsection shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the procedures of the agency for reemploying persons who serve in the uniformed services provide for the reemployment of such persons in the agency in a manner similar to the manner of reemployment described in section 4313.

(c)(1) The procedures prescribed under subsection (a) shall designate an official at the agency who shall determine whether or not the reemployment of a person referred to in subsection (b) by the agency is impossible or unreasonable.

(2) Upon making a determination that the reemployment by the agency of a person referred to in subsection (b) is impossible or unreasonable, the official referred to in paragraph (1) shall notify the person and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management of such determination.

(3) A determination pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to judicial review.

(4) The head of each agency referred to in subsection (a) shall submit to the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives on an annual basis a report on the number of persons whose reemployment with the agency was determined under this subsection to be impossible or unreasonable during the year preceding the report, including the reason for each such determination.

(d)(1) Except as provided in this section, nothing in this section, section 4313, or section 4325 shall be construed to exempt any agency referred to in subsection (a) from compliance with any other substantive provision of this chapter.

(2) This section may not be construed—

(A) as prohibiting an employee of an agency referred to in subsection (a) from seeking information from the Secretary regarding assistance in seeking reemployment from the agency under this chapter, alternative employment in the Federal Government under this chapter, or information relating to the rights and obligations of employee and Federal agencies under this chapter; or

(B) as prohibiting such an agency from voluntarily cooperating with or seeking assistance in or of clarification from the Secretary or the Director of the Office of Personnel Management of any matter arising under this chapter.


(e) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall ensure the offer of employment to a person in a position in a Federal executive agency on the basis described in subsection (b) if—

(1) the person was an employee of an agency referred to in section 2302(a)(2)(C)(ii) of title 5 at the time the person entered the service from which the person seeks reemployment under this section;

(2) the appropriate officer of the agency determines under subsection (c) that reemployment of the person by the agency is impossible or unreasonable; and

(3) the person submits an application to the Director for an offer of employment under this subsection.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3159.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4315 was renumbered section 7615 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4316. Rights, benefits, and obligations of persons absent from employment for service in a uniformed service

(a) A person who is reemployed under this chapter is entitled to the seniority and other rights and benefits determined by seniority that the person had on the date of the commencement of service in the uniformed services plus the additional seniority and rights and benefits that such person would have attained if the person had remained continuously employed.

(b)(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) through (6), a person who is absent from a position of employment by reason of service in the uniformed services shall be—

(A) deemed to be on furlough or leave of absence while performing such service; and

(B) entitled to such other rights and benefits not determined by seniority as are generally provided by the employer of the person to employees having similar seniority, status, and pay who are on furlough or leave of absence under a contract, agreement, policy, practice, or plan in effect at the commencement of such service or established while such person performs such service.


(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), a person who—

(i) is absent from a position of employment by reason of service in the uniformed services, and

(ii) knowingly provides written notice of intent not to return to a position of employment after service in the uniformed service,


is not entitled to rights and benefits under paragraph (1)(B).

(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the employer shall have the burden of proving that a person knowingly provided clear written notice of intent not to return to a position of employment after service in the uniformed service and, in doing so, was aware of the specific rights and benefits to be lost under subparagraph (A).

(3) A person deemed to be on furlough or leave of absence under this subsection while serving in the uniformed services shall not be entitled under this subsection to any benefits to which the person would not otherwise be entitled if the person had remained continuously employed.

(4) Such person may be required to pay the employee cost, if any, of any funded benefit continued pursuant to paragraph (1) to the extent other employees on furlough or leave of absence are so required.

(5) The entitlement of a person to coverage under a health plan is provided for under section 4317.

(6) The entitlement of a person to a right or benefit under an employee pension benefit plan is provided for under section 4318.

(c) A person who is reemployed by an employer under this chapter shall not be discharged from such employment, except for cause—

(1) within one year after the date of such reemployment, if the person's period of service before the reemployment was more than 180 days; or

(2) within 180 days after the date of such reemployment, if the person's period of service before the reemployment was more than 30 days but less than 181 days.


(d) Any person whose employment with an employer is interrupted by a period of service in the uniformed services shall be permitted, upon request of that person, to use during such period of service any vacation, annual, or similar leave with pay accrued by the person before the commencement of such service. No employer may require any such person to use vacation, annual, or similar leave during such period of service.

(e)(1) An employer shall grant an employee who is a member of a reserve component an authorized leave of absence from a position of employment to allow that employee to perform funeral honors duty as authorized by section 12503 of title 10 or section 115 of title 32.

(2) For purposes of section 4312(e)(1) of this title, an employee who takes an authorized leave of absence under paragraph (1) is deemed to have notified the employer of the employee's intent to return to such position of employment.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3160; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(6), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3335; Pub. L. 106–419, title III, §323(b), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1855.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4316 was renumbered section 7616 of this title.

Amendments

2000—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 106–419 added subsec. (e).

1996—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–275 inserted at end "No employer may require any such person to use vacation, annual, or similar leave during such period of service."

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–419 effective 180 days after Nov. 1, 2000, see section 323(c) of Pub. L. 106–419, set out as a note under section 4303 of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, except that the provisions concerning insurance coverage (other than health) are effective with respect to furloughs or leaves of absence initiated on or after Oct. 13, 1994, and subsec. (b)(2) of this section is applicable only to the rights and benefits provided in subsec. (b)(1)(B) of this section and to persons who leave a position of employment for service in the uniformed services more than 60 days after Oct. 13, 1994, and not applicable to any other right or benefit of a person under this chapter, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4317. Health plans

(a)(1) In any case in which a person (or the person's dependents) has coverage under a health plan in connection with the person's position of employment, including a group health plan (as defined in section 607(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), and such person is absent from such position of employment by reason of service in the uniformed services, or such person becomes eligible for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 by reason of subsection (d) of section 1074 of that title, the plan shall provide that the person may elect to continue such coverage as provided in this subsection. The maximum period of coverage of a person and the person's dependents under such an election shall be the lesser of—

(A) the 24-month period beginning on the date on which the person's absence begins; or

(B) the day after the date on which the person fails to apply for or return to a position of employment, as determined under section 4312(e).


(2) A person who elects to continue health-plan coverage under this paragraph may be required to pay not more than 102 percent of the full premium under the plan (determined in the same manner as the applicable premium under section 4980B(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) associated with such coverage for the employer's other employees, except that in the case of a person who performs service in the uniformed services for less than 31 days, such person may not be required to pay more than the employee share, if any, for such coverage.

(3) In the case of a health plan that is a multiemployer plan, as defined in section 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, any liability under the plan for employer contributions and benefits arising under this paragraph shall be allocated—

(A) by the plan in such manner as the plan sponsor shall provide; or

(B) if the sponsor does not provide—

(i) to the last employer employing the person before the period served by the person in the uniformed services, or

(ii) if such last employer is no longer functional, to the plan.


(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), in the case of a person whose coverage under a health plan was terminated by reason of service in the uniformed services, or by reason of the person's having become eligible for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 by reason of subsection (d) of section 1074 of that title, an exclusion or waiting period may not be imposed in connection with the reinstatement of such coverage upon reemployment under this chapter if an exclusion or waiting period would not have been imposed under a health plan had coverage of such person by such plan not been terminated as a result of such service or eligibility. This paragraph applies to the person who is reemployed and to any individual who is covered by such plan by reason of the reinstatement of the coverage of such person.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the coverage of any illness or injury determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to have been incurred in, or aggravated during, performance of service in the uniformed services.

(3) In the case of a person whose coverage under a health plan is terminated by reason of the person having become eligible for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 by reason of subsection (d) of section 1074 of that title but who subsequently does not commence a period of active duty under the order to active duty that established such eligibility because the order is canceled before such active duty commences, the provisions of paragraph (1) relating to any exclusion or waiting period in connection with the reinstatement of coverage under a health plan shall apply to such person's continued employment, upon the termination of such eligibility for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 that is incident to the cancellation of such order, in the same manner as if the person had become reemployed upon such termination of eligibility.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3161; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(7), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3335; Pub. L. 108–454, title II, §201(a), Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3605; Pub. L. 109–233, title III, §303, June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 406.)

References in Text

Sections 3(37) and 607(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), (3), are classified to sections 1002(37) and 1167(1), respectively, of Title 29, Labor.

Section 4980B(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is classified to section 4980B(f)(4) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4317 was renumbered section 7617 of this title.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–233, §303(a), inserted "or such person becomes eligible for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 by reason of subsection (d) of section 1074 of that title," after "by reason of service in the uniformed services,".

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–233, §303(b)(1), inserted "or by reason of the person's having become eligible for medical and dental care under chapter 55 of title 10 by reason of subsection (d) of section 1074 of that title," after "by reason of service in the uniformed services," and "or eligibility" after "such service".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 109–233, §303(b)(2), added par. (3).

2004—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 108–454 substituted "24-month period" for "18-month period".

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–275 substituted "(a)(1) In" for "(a)(1)(A) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), in", redesignated cls. (i) and (ii) of par. (1) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, redesignated former subpars. (B) and (C) as pars. (2) and (3), respectively, and in par. (3), redesignated cls. (i) and (ii) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, and subcls. (I) and (II) as cls. (i) and (ii), respectively.

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–454, title II, §201(b), Dec. 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3606, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to elections made under section 4317 of title 38, United States Code, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 10, 2004]."

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, except that a person on active duty on Oct. 13, 1994, or a family member or personal representative of such person, may, after Oct. 13, 1994, elect to reinstate or continue a health plan provided in this section, and the health plan shall remain in effect for the remaining portion of the 18-month period that began on the date of such person's separation from civilian employment or the period of the person's service in the uniformed service, whichever is of lesser duration, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4318. Employee pension benefit plans

(a)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in the case of a right provided pursuant to an employee pension benefit plan (including those described in sections 3(2) and 3(33) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) or a right provided under any Federal or State law governing pension benefits for governmental employees, the right to pension benefits of a person reemployed under this chapter shall be determined under this section.

(B) In the case of benefits under the Thrift Savings Plan, the rights of a person reemployed under this chapter shall be those rights provided in section 8432b of title 5. The first sentence of this subparagraph shall not be construed to affect any other right or benefit under this chapter.

(2)(A) A person reemployed under this chapter shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service with the employer or employers maintaining the plan by reason of such person's period or periods of service in the uniformed services.

(B) Each period served by a person in the uniformed services shall, upon reemployment under this chapter, be deemed to constitute service with the employer or employers maintaining the plan for the purpose of determining the nonforfeitability of the person's accrued benefits and for the purpose of determining the accrual of benefits under the plan.

(b)(1) An employer reemploying a person under this chapter shall, with respect to a period of service described in subsection (a)(2)(B), be liable to an employee pension benefit plan for funding any obligation of the plan to provide the benefits described in subsection (a)(2) and shall allocate the amount of any employer contribution for the person in the same manner and to the same extent the allocation occurs for other employees during the period of service. For purposes of determining the amount of such liability and any obligation of the plan, earnings and forfeitures shall not be included. For purposes of determining the amount of such liability and for purposes of section 515 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or any similar Federal or State law governing pension benefits for governmental employees, service in the uniformed services that is deemed under subsection (a) to be service with the employer shall be deemed to be service with the employer under the terms of the plan or any applicable collective bargaining agreement. In the case of a multiemployer plan, as defined in section 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, any liability of the plan described in this paragraph shall be allocated—

(A) by the plan in such manner as the sponsor maintaining the plan shall provide; or

(B) if the sponsor does not provide—

(i) to the last employer employing the person before the period served by the person in the uniformed services, or

(ii) if such last employer is no longer functional, to the plan.


(2) A person reemployed under this chapter shall be entitled to accrued benefits pursuant to subsection (a) that are contingent on the making of, or derived from, employee contributions or elective deferrals (as defined in section 402(g)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) only to the extent the person makes payment to the plan with respect to such contributions or deferrals. No such payment may exceed the amount the person would have been permitted or required to contribute had the person remained continuously employed by the employer throughout the period of service described in subsection (a)(2)(B). Any payment to the plan described in this paragraph shall be made during the period beginning with the date of reemployment and whose duration is three times the period of the person's service in the uniformed services, such payment period not to exceed five years.

(3) For purposes of computing an employer's liability under paragraph (1) or the employee's contributions under paragraph (2), the employee's compensation during the period of service described in subsection (a)(2)(B) shall be computed—

(A) at the rate the employee would have received but for the period of service described in subsection (a)(2)(B), or

(B) in the case that the determination of such rate is not reasonably certain, on the basis of the employee's average rate of compensation during the 12-month period immediately preceding such period (or, if shorter, the period of employment immediately preceding such period).


(c) Any employer who reemploys a person under this chapter and who is an employer contributing to a multiemployer plan, as defined in section 3(37) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, under which benefits are or may be payable to such person by reason of the obligations set forth in this chapter, shall, within 30 days after the date of such reemployment, provide information, in writing, of such reemployment to the administrator of such plan.

(Added Pub. L. 103–353, §2(a), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3162; amended Pub. L. 104–275, title III, §311(8), Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3335.)

References in Text

Sections 3 and 515 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1)(A), (b)(1), and (c), are classified to sections 1002 and 1145, respectively, of Title 29, Labor.

Section 402(g)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is classified to section 402(g)(3) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 4318 was renumbered section 7618 of this title.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–275 substituted "services, such payment period" for "services," in last sentence.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–275 effective Oct. 13, 1994, see section 313 of Pub. L. 104–275, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective with respect to reemployments initiated on or after the first day after the 60-day period beginning Oct. 13, 1994, with transition rules, except that an employee pension benefit plan not in compliance with this section or section 8(h)(1) of Pub. L. 103–353 on Oct. 13, 1994, has two years to come into compliance, see section 8 of Pub. L. 103–353, set out as a note under section 4301 of this title.

§4319. Employment and reemployment rights in foreign countries

(a) Liability of Controlling United States Employer of Foreign Entity.—If an employer controls an entity that is incorporated or otherwise organized in a foreign country, any denial of employment, reemployment, or benefit by such entity shall be presumed to be by such employer.

(b) Inapplicability to Foreign Employer.—This subchapter does not apply to foreign operations of an employer that is a foreign person not controlled by an United States employer.

(c) Determination of Controlling Employer.—For the purpose of this section, the determination of whether an employer controls an entity shall be based upon the interrelations of operations, common management, centralized control of labor relations, and common ownership or financial control of the employer and the entity.

(d) Exemption.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, an employer, or an entity controlled by an employer, shall be exempt from compliance with any of sections 4311 through 4318 of this title with respect to an employee in a workplace in a foreign country, if compliance with that section would cause such employer, or such entity controlled by an employer, to violate the law of the foreign country in which the workplace is located.

(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title II, §212(b)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3331.)

Effective Date

Section applicable only with respect to causes of action arising after Nov. 11, 1998, see section 212(c) of Pub. L. 105–368, set out as an Effective Date of 1998 Amendment note under section 4303 of this title.