Labor and Employment Law Alert: New Poster Requirement under USERRA
Effective March 10, 2005, all employers, regardless of size, must post notice to all employees of their rights and benefits under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The new posting requirements were signed into law on December 10, 2004 as part of the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004, which also modified and extended housing, education and other benefits for veterans. The Department of Labor (DOL) has developed a model notice, which employers are required to post "where employers customarily place notices for employees." The model notice should be available for download directly from the DOL on or after March 10, 2005, at http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/poster.pdf
USERRA provides reemployment rights to employees called into active duty military service in certain circumstances, prohibits discrimination and retaliation in employment against uniform service members and provides health insurance protection for service members and their families. The recent changes to USERRA also increased the health insurance continuation coverage requirements from 18 months to 24 months. Employers who provide health insurance to their employees must now offer 24 months of continuation coverage to employees on military leave under USERRA. For the first 30 days of military leave, employees may receive the continuation coverage at their normal premium rate. For leaves greater than 30 days, the employee may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium rate for the duration of the continuation coverage, much like the coverage offered departing employees under COBRA.
The DOL is currently preparing interpretive regulations under USERRA which are expected to be finalized later this year. For a more comprehensive discussion of employers’ duties and responsibilities to employees on military leave, contact your Stoel Rives Labor and Employment attorney.
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This is a periodic publication of Stoel Rives Labor and Employment Group for the benefit and information of clients and friends. This bulletin is not legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for information purposes only.