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  • Employees retain their USERRA protections for a limited period.
  • Returning employees may be terminated only for cause.

Returning service members can’t be terminated until a specific period of time has passed. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) requires that:

  • If the employee served 31 to 180 days, then the employee may not be terminated for 180 days after returning to work; or
  • If the employee served 181 or more days, then the employee may not be terminated for one year after returning to work.

Employers may terminate a returning service member only “for cause.” Generally, “for cause” is determined by asking two questions:

  • Is it reasonable to discharge an employee for the conduct in question?
  • Did the employee receive fair notice, expressed or implied, that such conduct could result in discharge?

An example of termination “for cause” would be if an employee was caught stealing.

Employees who serve for 30 or fewer days are not protected from discharge without cause. However, they people are protected from discrimination because of military service or obligation.